C1790 Relic Umbrella Owned By William Ellery/ Declaration Of Independence Signer For Sale
Exceptionally Rare, original ca1790's wood and brass frame Umbrella / Parasol which belonged to William Ellery of Newport, Rhode Island - a Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Rhode Island. This exceptionally early and fascinating Umbrellais engraved with the owner's name on the brass cuff slide - "W. Ellery" and has affixed to the handle two, 19th century labels with manuscript notations. One of the Tags reads "Umbrella owned by William Ellery of Newport R.I." and the other reads "Signer of the Declaration of Independence"
This fantastic, historical relic is far and away the earliest Umbrella we have come across in 32+ years. The construction and materials date the Umbrella to the period 1770 to 1830. It measures approx. 38" long overall and features a carved wooden handle and large, turned brass ferrule. The shaft is wood and the ribs of the frame are also wood with turned brass tips on the end of each rib. The stretchers that would hold the ribs in place when the Umbrella is opened are made of square, heavy brass shafts and the ribs are covered with the original silk material. The runner is a brass tube approx. 6" long that surrounds the shaft and was used to open the Umbrella by sliding it up the shaft thus extending the stretchers which a attached to the ribs at a central pivot.
Our research has told us that the construction of the Umbrella is consistent with a date of manufacture sometime in the late 18th or VERY early 19th century. During this time, Umbrella's were a very expensive, luxury item owned only by the upper class in the young United States. They were in no way a common commodity and in the late 18th century the sight of a person carrying an Umbrella in the streets of even the largest cities was a curious sight.
A late 18th or very early 19th century date of manufacture correlates to the period of the life of William Ellery who died in 1820 at the age of 92. As stated above, the runner is engraved with the name of the owner "W. Ellery" and the labels / tags identifying the owner have obviously been attached to the Umbrella for over 100 years.
The second son of William Ellery Sr. and Elizabeth Almy, William Ellery was born in Newport, Rhode Island and received his early education from his father, a merchant and Harvard College graduate. In 1747 William Ellery graduated from Harvard College where he had excelled in Greek and Latin. Ellery returned to Newport where he worked first as a merchant, next as a customs collector, and then as Clerk of the Rhode Island General Assembly. Ellery started practicing law in 1770 at the age of 43 and became active in the Rhode Island Sons of Liberty.
After Samuel Ward's death in 1776, Ellery replaced Ward in the Continental Congress. Ellery was among the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Ellery also served as a judge of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island and by 1785 he had become an abolitionist. He was the first customs collector of the port of Newport under the Constitution, serving there until his death. Ellery was an active worshipper at the Second Congregational Church of Newport. After his death in 1820 at age 92, Ellery was buried in Common Burying Ground in Newport.
This very rare and important, ca1790's Umbrella is in very good condition. All of the structural elements are exceptionally well preserved and intact. The ribs and stretchers are without damage and the Umbrella opens and closes as manufactured. The wooden handle exhibits age appropriate surface wear and wear to the finish but no damage or repairs. The only damage to the Umbrella are numerous splits in the original silk fabric cover - otherwise the Umbrella is exceptionally well preserved especially considering its age of over 200 years
This exceptionally rare and historically important, ca1790's wood and brass frame Umbrella which belonged to William Ellery of Newport, Rhode Island - a Signer of the Declaration of Independence - is offered here, as always, without reserve and with the confidence that it will attract the serious interest that it justly deserves!!
Please Note: The Umbrella is unconditionally guaranteed authentic, original and as described above. It is backed by our “no questions asked” return policy and lifetime guarantee of authenticity. The Umbrella is unconditionally guaranteed to be deemed authentic by any third party authentication service and the Umbrella will be accompanied by our own Letter of Authenticity with a statement of our unconditional return policy and guarantee of authenticity.
Overseasshippping is extra and cost will be quoted at buyers request. Massachusetts residents must add 6.25% sales tax.
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Important Notes about Shipping Charges:
The amount quoted for Shipping & Handling is calculated by and is equal to the EXACT amount charged by the Post Office plus a $1.00 "packing fee" - the $1.00 fee is our only compensation for the virgin packing materials we use on all of our professionally packaged boxes as well as our cost for the salaried help that does most of our packing - as I am sure you can see, we make NO profit on the Shipping charges and, in fact, our costs are usually greater than the $1.00 fee. Please contact us if there are any issues regarding the cost of shipping.
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C1790 Relic Umbrella Owned By William Ellery/ Declaration Of Independence Signer: $1,010