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    George Washington: A Unique and Highly Important Ribbon Believed to Date from the 1780-1800 Era. Formerly one of the most-prized items in the legendary U. I. "Chick" Harris Collection, this diminutive ribbon is in a style completely unlike any other we have encountered. The crude woodcut portrait is most reminiscent of those of George Washington and John Adams on the cover of an almanac sold in the 1790s. When offered in one of the Harris Collection auctions in 2000, this ribbon was described as probably being of the Revolutionary War era, most likely because of the cannon below his portrait. However, we would presently incline more toward 1790s dating.

    This is a complete ribbon, with full selvage across the bottom, and it does not carry a death date. This fact, combined with the style and archaic spelling of "defence," strongly suggest that it dates from before Washington's death in 1799. Some authorities have suggested that this is an 1832 ribbon, issued to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Washington's birth. However, Sullivan and Fischer picture some two dozen different 1832 ribbons, none of which resemble this one at all in style. The fabric also has a completely different feel than ribbons from that era. It is also believed to be the only known example, whereas the ribbons of 1832 seem to have been distributed in large numbers, as they are still readily available. In the absence of any solid information about its origins, there may always be controversy about the dating of this ribbon. However, all our instincts and expertise lead us to believe it was issued during Washington's lifetime.

    Condition is very good as shown, with light overall aging. Traces of old mounting on verso. 2.125" x 4.125". Sold in the September 14, 2000 Harris auction for $6957.50.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    23rd-24th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 982

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