American Naval Ensign Boat Flag C. 1876 6 Ft. 13 Stars, Framed Museum Mounting A
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American Naval Ensign Boat Flag C. 1876 6 Ft. 13 Stars, Framed Museum Mounting A:
Flag” (6 Foot) 13 STARS CIRCA 1876 (As Used on Launches, Gigs & Tenders) PROVENANCE: Captain Joseph Francis Provincetown, Massachusetts Circa 1876 13 star American national Flag, a Naval Ensign found in the former home of a Massachusetts ship captain by the name of Joseph Francis, a Portuguese immigrant who commanded a boat called the Correa. Francis owned a home at #66 Bradford Street in Provincetown. After purchasing the home from the Francis family, the new owner found the Flag in the attic during a renovation. Joseph Francis built the house in the 1850’s The Flag itself is typical Naval Ensign flown on small US Navy boats of the period – gigs, tenders , launches – from late in the Civil War (Naval Regulations of 1864 specified such a Flag) through the 1880’s. Most US Navy small boat ensigns of this era measure six feet in length, like this example. The US Navy used the 13 star count on small boats, not only in the 18th century, but through most or all of the 19th century, particularly the second half, when there was greater consistency in military standards. The 13 star Flag was adopted for greater ease of recognition on smaller boats. At a distance, it is easier to discern a smaller number of large stars than it is to discern a large number of small stars. The canton and stripes of the Flag are made of wool bunting. There is an open sleeve made of heavy canvas, through which a hemp rope was inserted for hoisting. The stars are made of cotton and are double appliquéd and hand sewn with treadle sewn stripes. Note how the stars point in various directions on their vertical axis, which lends an interesting and folky visual element to the Flag’s design. The stars of this example are arranged in rows of 3 2 3 2 3 which can also be viewed as a diamond of stars with a star in each corner. Mounting: There was no expense spared in the conservation and display of this Flag. It has been museum mounted and hand-stitched to 100% silk organza for support on every seam and then stitched to a background of 100% cotton black twill, which was washed to with an acid free agent to reduce excess dye and set it. The fabric was heat-treated for the same purpose. It is archaically framed with UV protective Plexiglas and a gold leaf over Chinese red frame. Condition: There is minor foxing and staining, accompanied by moderate fabric loss throughout. Cotton of similar coloration was placed behind the stripes for masking purposes. This is a huge, heavy item so it has to be crated (wood crate), thus it will be shipped by a freight service. Cost of $395.00.