One of Only Two Examples Extant!
1861 Horstmann Contract, Company Level Guidon as Provided to the
First Ten Regiments of Pennsylvania Cavalry.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in 1861, contracted with Horstmann in Philadelphia to produce 112 of these "deep cut" (swallowtail) guidons for Pennsylvania cavalry regiments. The only other known example of this guidon was issued to the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry.
Although the first ten guidons in the contract incorporated the Pennsylvania state seal (per agreements of 6 September and 24 October 1861) the remaining 100 guidons, as evidenced by this example, simply utilized "P"[ennsylvania] "V"[olunteers] and the company letter which in this case is "I". Pursuant to War Department orders, dated January 18, 1862, guidons were to be made in the form of the 'stars and stripes' and issued by the US Quartermaster Department, rather than the states, clearly establishing that this guidon was made and issued prior to 1862. Constructed entirely of silk, the guidon is 26 1/2-inches on the hoist and 41 1/2-inches on the fly. The hand painted letters are 3 1/2-inches high. The fragile silk construction and early war issuance resulted in a very low survival rate for these flags. This iconic swallowtail form is emblematic of the romanticized ideal of Civil War cavalry regiments, this being a superbly provenanced example. A rare and important Civil War flag.
Note: This item previously sold in our June Signature Civil War Auction, June 29, 2008 sale as lot 72046. This particular auction was presented and conducted in Gettysburg, PA. It has been with the current buyer, now consignor ever since. Professionally framed in a fantastic frame which measures 40 1/2-inches by 54-inches.
According to consignor, the flag was mounted and restored by Ilona Pachler who lived in Santa Fe at the time, she was a former textile conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Framing was done in LA and was approximately $3000 dollars.
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