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    William Henry Harrison: One of the Most Desirable Silk Bandanna Designs for This Ninth President. This large silk bandanna was clearly issued for 1840 campaign purposes. In the background behind Harrison's portrait is the U.S. Capitol building. In each corner is a patriotic motif including a streamer bearing the words "Harrison & Reform." In each of the four borders is a scene of "Lady Liberty" exhorting "Farmer" Harrison to abandon his plowing to answer the nation's call. This was a persistent theme in Harrison's highly effective campaign. While in fact Harrison was a wealthy landowner from a family prominent in Virginia since the 17th century, he was portrayed as a humble farmer with a log cabin and a barrel of hard cider. The reality is that Harrison was one of the most ambitious politicians ever to seek the presidency, and had been maneuvering relentlessly to secure the office since the early 1830s, if not earlier.

    This bandanna is almost identical to one listed by Collins in "Threads of History" (no. 122), but it differs in that it has a red border, rather than the black border on the one listed by Collins, and there is a slight difference in the wording below Harrison's portrait. The Collins plate example refers to the "War of 1821". However, this has been corrected to "1812" on the version offered here. Despite the existence of two distinct printings, this design is extremely rare, and we cannot recall having seen any example other than these two.

    Overall display condition is very nice. There are a few very trivial bits of light to moderate staining near the perimeter, which detract minimally. There are a few exceedingly minor traces of light water staining and small soil marks in the field, noted for accuracy. Seasoned collectors of political textiles will recognize this bandanna as having come from a major collection acquired by legendary collector Kenton Broyles some five decades ago. The previous owner had mounted all his bandannas loosely to a board by running black electrical tape neatly around the border. Given the fragility of silk of this age, it has been the consensus of hobbyists that it is best to leave examples from this collection as mounted, rather than to attempt to remove the tape. 28.5" x 26.5".

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2011
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,017

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