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    Description

    Two Superbly Documented Fragments from the Most Iconic of All American Symbols - "The Star Spangled Banner" - Ex Mollus Museum Collection. Approximately 2" x 4" fragment of a red stripe and 1½" x 3" portion of a white stripe. The fragments were donated to the Loyal Legion War Library and Museum in Philadelphia, by Dr. Isaac Winter Heysinger, circa 1915. Accompanying the piece is a copy of the catalog card, listing it in the Loyal Legion collection, along with a letter from the Museum curator in 1982 validating the deaccession and release of the fragments. The fragments are now housed in a 16" x 22" aluminum frame, custom built for their display while in the possession of the Loyal Legion and are mounted on the manuscript mount prepared by Heysinger to accompany the pieces when they were presented to the museum. Also included are photographs of the Star Spangled Banner, as well as a photograph of the two pieces spread out to their full size as they are now folded in the mount. Also in the frame is a printed card, apparently done by the Loyal Legion at the time of the presentation, "Presented/ To the Commandery of the State Of Pennsylvania/ Military Order of the Loyal Legion/ By/ Companion Captain I. W. Heysinger, M. A., M. D."

    Heysinger's manuscript mount that accompanied the pieces of the flag reads, in part: "Star Spangled Banner. These tattered and torn fragments are a part of the flag which flew on Fort McHenry on the night of September 12th 1812 (interestingly, the date was actually September 14, 1814)... The above pieces are positively a portion of that precious relic. The flag is now in the National Museum Washington D. C." Also accompanying the pieces is a booklet, printed in 1914 in Philadelphia by John Wanamaker, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the battle, in which are pictured these exact flag fragments, with the caption stating "A portion of the very Star Spangled Banner that inspired that song. A photographic reproduction of portions of the original Fort McHenry flag now in the possession of the Ridgway Library, Philadelphia." The blue portion being from another source.

    The flag was presented after the battle to Major Armistead, who commanded the Fort on that fateful night. The flag remained in the possession of Armistead, and then his widow, until 1861 when, upon her death it was willed to Mrs. William Stuart Appleton, the youngest daughter of the Armisteads, who, in turn, left it to her son Eben Appleton of Yonkers, N. Y., upon her death on July 25 1878. Eben Appleton loaned the flag to the Smithsonian in 1907 where it was placed on official display for the first time, with the loan becoming an outright gift in 1912. When the flag was given to the Smithsonian some eight feet were missing from the fly, and a portion had been cut from the canton, with many of these pieces having been distributed by Armistead and his descendants as souvenirs, although only a handful of the fragments survive today.

    A rare opportunity for the collector of American iconography in any form, to own superbly documented fragments of the greatest of all American icons, the Star Spangled Banner. This lot requires 3rd party shipping.


    More Information:

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    Heysinger was truly the quintessential Renaissance man. He served during the Civil War, initially enlisting, while a student at Dartmouth College, in the 7th Rhode Island Cavalry on 6/14/62, serving until 10/2/62. He subsequently enlisted 9/14/63 as a sergeant in the 19th Penna. Cav., serving in that unit until 10/21/64 when he was commissioned a Captain and transferred to the 45th USCT, finally mustering out 11/4/65. His post war accomplishments were truly remarkable. Heysinger wrote numerous articles on music, art, science, economics, religion and history, as well as writing several operas, one of which "The Musketeers" was produced in New York under the direction of John Philip Sousa. He also authored several books on the Civil War, as well as volumes on astronomy, psychology and other subjects. He read several Asian languages, and his collection of paintings and prints, including work by the old masters, was among the finest in the United States. He also held over 100 US Patents.

     

    Also accompanying the fragments is a copy of a letter dated April 4, 1969 from Smithsonian Institution representative Donald E. Kloster, to the Union League of Philadelphia, where many of the Loyal Legion artifacts were stored and displayed, concerning these fragments. In the letter Kloster states, "I received a phone call from a lady in Washington this week in which she quoted from a booklet on the Military Order of the Loyal legion as follows: "Among the memorabilia is the 'missing' section of the Star Spangled Banner that flew by dawn's early light over Fort McHenry's ramparts...." At your convenience could you let me know the size of this "'missing' section" or sections, as the case may be, colors and who the donor was....we would like to have this information for our file on the flag. We have come across some fragments of the flag that apparently were given by Colonel Armistead to various people during the time he had it in his possession and will help fill in the files."





    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2011
    25th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 8,949

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