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Kerchief

Object Number: 
1952.63
Date: 
1776-1777
Medium: 
Linen
Dimensions: 
Overall: 30 x 30 in. ( 76.2 x 76.2 cm )
Marks: 
printed: around medallion: "GEORGE WASHINGTON, ESQ. FOUNDATOR AND PROTECTOR OF AMERICA'S LIBERTY AND JNDEPENDENCY"
Description: 
Cotton block-printed kerchief with a portrait of George Washington on horseback in center medallion, surrounded by an inscription and flags and cannons; floral border; red ink on a white ground.
Gallery Label: 
Likely printed by Philadelphia calico printer John Hewson, this kerchief was long believed to have been made at the personal request of Martha Washington in 1775. The reference to "America's Independency" indicates that the kerchief may have been printed shortly following the Declaration of Independence, while the absence of the official Stars and Stripes flag suggests a date before July, 1777. The kerchief has been described as an early attempt by George Washington at "image" management.
Bibliography: 
Ramirez, Jan Seidler. "A History of the New-York Historical Society." The Magazine Antiques 167 (2005): 138-145.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mrs. J. Insley Blair
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group