A 34-Star 'Great Flower' American Flag commemorating Kansas statehood

Manhattan or Buffalo, New York Merchants' Exchange, 1861

Hand-sewn, single appliqued cotton stars arranged in a 'Great Flower' pattern on a four-part wool bunting canton, the stars 'peek' through, wool bunting stripes, canvas hoist inscribed, "H.M.T. Smith," "JHVB," "B. Rathbun" and "Merchants Exchange," also marked twice with "Mastai Collection" stamp and "No. 37.," hoist with three grommets, one new.

9 ft. 4 in. x 11 ft. 6 in.


The Collection of Boleslaw and Marie-Louise d'Otrange Mastai.
Estimate $4,000-6,000

Literature: 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), 108 & 109.

Note: The Mastais felt that this Flag was flown at the New York City Merchants' Exchange, but another possibilty is that the Flag was flown from the Buffalo, New York Merchants' Exchange, built in 1844 at the corner of Hanover and Prime Streets. The names on the hoist are likely thoses of two western New York state physicians. Dr. Henry M.T. Smith (born in 1822), a medical doctor and later owner of the H.M.T. Smith Drug Store, and Dr. Byron W. Rathbun (1835-1903), a dentist. Dr. B. Rathbun's dentist office was located on the second floor of Smith's Drug Store. Both were active in regional professional organizations and spent most of their lives in Dunkirk, Chautauqua County, New York. The New York City Merchants' Exchange became the U.S. Customs House in 1862 and images of that date show the Revenue Marine Service Cutter Flag on the building.

Descriptions provided in both printed and on-line catalogue formats do not include condition reports. The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Freeman's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Freeman's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Freeman's. For that reason, Freeman's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. All transactions are governed by Freeman's Conditions of Sale.

Sold for $5,625 (buyer's premium included)