Flagmaker catalogs

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by NAVA1974, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Does anyone out there collect old flag maker catalogs? Annin, Dettra, Collegeville, etc.?

    Nick
     
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

  3. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Exactly. I'd been watching that one for a while. Now was as good a time as any to finally buy it.

    But it is the older ones that are especially nice. Like the catalogs from the early 20th C that offer 13 star revolutionary war era repros that nowadays come up on eBay as authentic period flags, like this one:
    Fake13StarFlag.jpg

    It is listed at: 13 Star American Flag - This is an original - eBay (item 120455527246 end time Aug-13-09 22:28:14 PDT)

    I've sent the seller two messages telling him it is no older than the 1890's with no response. If I don't hear back I may have to report it to eBay as a bogus item.

    Nick
     
  4. mattsaccount

    mattsaccount Member

    Although this is taking the thread a bit off topic, I'm curious how you can tell the flag is bogus? Is there a particular indication from the photo or the description? No, I'm affiliated with the seller and am not trying to defend it :) I also must admit that the guy's story is pretty unconvincing, since it seems he can't produce any real evidence of its authenticity.
     
  5. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Hello Matt,
    You can ignore his story entirely - it neither adds nor detracts from the evidence in the photo: 1) Machine sewn stripes - the flag was made with machine sewn stripes which are first seen in flags of the 1860's (NOTWITHSTANDING the fact that the sewing machine was patented in the 1840's - they just were not used to make flags until the US Civil War era). No museum would add them after the fact. 2) machine zig zag stitched stars - these were first used on flags in the 1890's. (they are NOT "hand, whip stitched stars" they are extremely common zig zag stitched stars, probably from the early 20th C.)

    The late Grace Rogers Cooper published a book in 1972 "Thirteen Star Flags - Keys to Identification" If you google the title you can find the whole book in PDF form on the Smithsonian web site. It is the 'bible' of antique flag identification. However, I did help Grace push back the age of zig zag stars. She stated that they were first used on 45 star flags, but I showed her my 44 star flag with zig zag stitching and she concurred that it was an authentic earlier use. Howie Madaus and Jim Ferrigan apparently located info showing that 13 star flags with zig zag stitched stars in a pattern of 8 stars in a circle, one central star, and 4 more stars - one in each corner, were made for the 1893 Columbian World's Exposition in Chicago. Since this was during the 44 star flag era, it confirms this early 1890's date for machie zig zag stitching.

    So if you see a 13 star flag with zig zag stitching, you can tell the owner that their great, great, great, great, great grandfather did not carry the flag during the Revolutionary war. It was made over 100 years later.

    Nick
     
  6. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

  7. mattsaccount

    mattsaccount Member

    If it is a fake, at least it's a very nice flag they're selling :)
     
  8. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Thanks Robin. Unfortunately the seller does not know the difference between hand stitching and machine stitching. The flags he is offering have machine stitched embroidery. A seamstress does maneuver the central coat of arms, with her hands, under the sewing machine, but it is a machine that does the stitching. It is very similar to commercially available embroidery.

    The DPSC also has women who do hand embroider the Presidential Standards used in the White House, stitch by stitch with needle and thread. Those are the flags that collectors vie for.

    Nick
     

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