A 'Know Nothing' American Flag
Appliqued, printed cotton portrait medallion depicting George Washington below a spreadwing eagle and crossed American Flags heightened with 13 embroidered stars, 17 red cotton stripes hand-sewn to white cotton field, fold-over hoist with four hand-stitched grommets, embroidered with the initials, "JWL" and date, "Dec 1858," mounted and framed.
19 in. x 23 1/4 in. (sight)
The Collection of Boleslaw and Marie-Louise d'Otrange Mastai.
Literature: Kevin Keim & Peter Keim, A Grand Old Flag: A History of the United States Through its Flags (2007), 100.
Nancy Druckman and Jeffrey Kenneth Kohn, American Flags: Designs for A Young Nation (2003), 33.
Boleslaw and Marie-Louise d'Otrange Mastai, The Stars and the Stripes: The American Flag as Art and as History from the Birth of the Republic to the Present (1973), 26 & 27 and illustrated on dust jacket.
Note: The natavist American Party or 'Know Nothings' flourished in the United States in the 1850s. The party was founded in 1849, growing out of a reactionary, secret fraternal organization- the Order of the Star Spangled Banner. Its members were directed to respond that they knew nothing when questioned about their organization. The party was anti-immigration and anti-Roman Catholic and popular enough to claim 43 seats in the Congress of 1855. The Know-Nothings honored George Washington above all else, as demonstrated in the present lot where the canton and stars are replaced with a portrait of the first President.
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Sold for $25,000 (buyer's premium included)