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    Anti-Stamp Act Textile: Perhaps the Earliest Expression of Political Sentiment on such an Item. An impressive 26" x 30" cotton scarf, the design in deep crimson. Condition is outstanding, with only the slightest hint of aging.

    In the center is King George III, surrounded by portraits of four prominent figures:

    1. William Pitt (1708-1766), British prime minister revered by the Colonists for his opposition to the Stamp Act.
    2. Henry Seymour Conway (1721 - 1795), staunch opponent of the Stamp Act in the House of Commons and appointed royal governor of New Jersey in 1772. Conway sided with the Colonist during the Revolution, and continued to serve in that capacity until his death.
    3. Sir Charles Pratt (1714-1794), first Earl of Camden, a staunch opponent of harsh taxation of the Colonies in the House of Lords, who declared the Stamp Act unconstitutional.
    4. Edward Hawke, First Lord of the Admiralty (1766-1771), when this scarf was presumably issued. Our research failed to turn up any identification of Hawke with public opposition to the Act, not surprising since military men generally avoided politics. Possibly his sympathies were known, or perhaps he was selected for the fourth corner because of the Navy's role in protecting commerce.

    Around the perimeter is a remarkable political sentiment: "May His Majesty's Reign be ever Crowned with Laurels, his Throne supported by Justice and Guarded by Honest Men of such true Patriotic Principles - May Commerce Flourish, and the band of Union ever Remain Unbroken between England and America - and may that man be forever Banished His Majesty's Presence who would endeavor to Disunite the Subjects Love to their King , or attempt to Ruin the Trade of this Country."

    The Stamp Act of 1765 was in many ways the match which ignited the powder keg of the American Revolution. It imposed a duty on newspapers and commercial documents in the Colonies, and engendered fierce resentment. Even in England it was regarded as unduly punitive, and thanks to efforts of leaders like those celebrated on this scarf was successfully repealed. But the damage was done.

    This textile, along with the pictured button (not included in this lot) must be regarded as among the earliest such expressions of political sentiment regarding American affairs. Manufactured in England, it celebrated repeal of the Act and maintenance of good relations between the Mother County and her American Colonies. It seems probable that this item was exported for sale in the Colonies as well. However, our research has failed to disclose another surviving example in American or British hands.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2021
    25th-26th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,127

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    Sold on Sep 25, 2021 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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