A 23-Star American Flag commemorating Maine statehood or Exclusionary Flag

"Made by Mary B. Lyon," second half 19th century

Hand-sewn, double appliqued cotton stars arranged in a double wreath or medallion enclosing a single star and flanked by 4 corner stars on a two-part cotton canton, machine-sewn stripes, the upper star inscribed, "Made by Mary B. Lyon," stamped, "Mastai Collection," and inscribed, "No. 261."

62 in. x 79 in.


The Boleslaw and Marie-Louise d'Otrange Mastai Collection of American Flags and Related Patriotic and Political Memorabilia, Sotheby's, October 10, 2002, lot 102.

Estimate $4,000-6,000

Literature: Kevin Keim & Peter Keim, A Grand Old Flag: A History of the United States Through its Flags (2007), 23.

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), 148 & 149.

Note: Mary B. Lyon may have made this cotton Flag to commemorate an anniversary of Maine statehood, admitted March 15, 1820. She more likely made the Flag in the early years of the Civil War, 1861 or 1862, removing the 11 stars representing seceded states from the national number of 34.

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 $5,938 (buyer's premium included)