Tuesday, August 21, 2012

George Washington - and Politics - In Cloth

What is it about George Washington cotton artifacts? They're surfacing on Ebay like crazy right now. (One guess: they've skyrocketed in value the past few years, and their owners are looking to cash in.)

At $3500, this pair (early 1800s) is actually a very good buy:

Go here to find out more, and bid.

This mourning piece is a real winner, too, but you'll pay more for this one -- almost a cool $10,000! (Okay, you'll save ten bucks on that.)

Go here for more, and to bid. 

This one, "The Tears of America," is even more -- almost $15,000. Both are mourning handkerchiefs, by the way -- a popular way to show your grief at the loss of your country's leader. Mourning ribbons and pins were also popular, and show up more often. This is changing, though...our last president to die, Jerry Ford, had only a mourning pin, as near as I can tell.

Go here for more, and to bid. 

And fabric yardage, c.1783, of George being crowned with a laurel wreath:

 Go here for more, and to bid.

These textiles are so very rare that it's a pleasure to have photos to view them up close. If you're wondering, "Gee, did the other presidents also have handkerchiefs and such to honor them?" Yes, yes, they did! Even President Obama has a number of cotton fabric prints. This one's my favorite:

(It's here, if you'd like to take a closer look, and buy a piece.)

Textiles like these are literally pieces of our history, captured in cloth for future generations to admire and ponder. Have you thought about adding a political or social-event fabric to your next project?

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