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Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags and Painted Furniture - EXCEPTIONAL CIGAR SILK PIECEWORK GAME TABLE COVER, CIRCA 1894-1910
Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
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Dimensions (inches): Frame - 49.25" square, Textile - 41" square
Silk bands like these were used to wrap bunches of cigars. Beginning in the Victorian period, women saved them in order that they may be pieced together into decorative pillow tops, table covers, and quilts, usually in some variation of the log cabin quilt pattern. Most examples in all forms are various shades of yellow and cheddar. Sometimes black and white stripes are found along with the yellow, along with light pastel blue, pink, and green and, on occasion, crimson red.

This is a game table cover. The beautiful design with opposing bars on the diagonal is called pineapple log cabin. It was assembled with the highest quality of workmanship that is seen in such examples, using what is known as "turkey track" stitching, a decorative stitch common in crazy quilts of the same period. The inclusion of the staggered ribbon fringe is especially attractive and adds to the almost modernistic qualities.

Larger-sized works such as long shams or table covers are much more scarce than their square, pillow-cover-sized counterparts and are invariably more interesting. Entire quilts are rarer still but are almost never encountered. Other, more unusual forms can also be encountered, such as smoking jackets.

Some of the cigars represented here are American made, including Blackstone (produced by Waitt & Bond, 1870-1969, Massachusetts and Maine), and Harvard (produced by Traiser's in Boston). In Connecticut some of the best tobacco was grown that was used to wrap the exterior layers of cigars, the binder and the wrapper. Called Connecticut Shade wrapper leaf, often simply referred to as Shade, this was hand-rolled to become the outer wrapper of many expensive brands made both within and outside the U.S. Although Shade accounts for no more than 5 percent of a cigar's weight, the wrapper is said to contribute more than 60 percent of its taste.

Because one of the brands represented here is "1894," one may presume that the table cover does not pre-date that year.

Mounting: The textile was mounted and framed within our own conservation department, which is led by expert staff. We take great care in the mounting and preservation of early textiles and have framed thousands of examples.

The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color. The substantial, black-painted molding is Italian. The glazing is U.V. protective plexiglass.

Condition: Exceptional. The textile is remarkably stable and intact. There is only one tiny hole of no consequence.
Primary Color: cheddar yellow
Earliest Date: 1894
Latest Date: 1910
For Sale Status: Available
Price $8,500
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