A 36-Star American Flag associated with the funeral procession of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

made by Mary Suffern Bunce (1816-1891), New York, NY, 1865

Hand-sewn, single appliqued cotton stars arranged in 6 rows of 6, the rays pointing in all directions, on a three-part wool bunting canton, wool bunting stripes, linen hoist with three brass grommets, inscribed, "Bunce 281 Lincoln Ave, Ridgwood, NJ," and "Bunce," with a paper tag inscribed, "36 Star Flag made by Mrs. N. R. Bunce used at funeral of A. Lincoln 1865," and on verso, "Miss Florence Bunce 1955."

72 in. x 92 in.


Mary Josephine Suffern (1816-1891), probable maker of the flag, married Nathaniel Russel Bunce (1813-1896) in 1837. The couple lived at 208 Madison in New York City. The flag was evidently passed to their son, John Suffern Bunce (1843-1885), and thence to his daughter Florence, who lived for many years with her siblings, John Oscar Bunce (b. 1867), a well-known architect and sculptor, Nathaniel, and Edna, at the address inscribed on the hoist.
Estimate $3,000-5,000

Note: The Flag may well have decorated the Madison Street house of the Bunces during the New York City funeral procession of Abraham Lincoln, April 25 and 26, 1865. Walt Whitman recorded that, "New York is distinquished for its countless gay flags... every house seems to have a flag staff... on these the colors were at half mast."

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Sold for $5,313 (buyer's premium included)