Souvenir of the World's Fair of Chicago | A Striking Piece with Bright Colors and a 44 Star Flag | Circa 1893

Souvenir of the World's Fair of Chicago | A Striking Piece with Bright Colors and a 44 Star Flag
1893 Antique Souvenir of World's Fair in Chicago 2.jpg
Bird's Eye View of the World's Fair in Chicago 1893.jpg
Ferris Wheel at the Chicago's World Fair 1893.jpg
World's Fair in Chicago 1893.jpg
2. 3 Gold Image.jpg
Medium Frames.JPG
Large Frames.JPG
Souvenir of the World's Fair of Chicago | A Striking Piece with Bright Colors and a 44 Star Flag
1893 Antique Souvenir of World's Fair in Chicago 2.jpg
Bird's Eye View of the World's Fair in Chicago 1893.jpg
Ferris Wheel at the Chicago's World Fair 1893.jpg
World's Fair in Chicago 1893.jpg
2. 3 Gold Image.jpg
Medium Frames.JPG
Large Frames.JPG

Souvenir of the World's Fair of Chicago | A Striking Piece with Bright Colors and a 44 Star Flag | Circa 1893

from 900.00

Frame Size (H x L): 27” x 26”
Flag Size (H x L): 17” x 16”

Offered is a beautiful souvenir from the World’s Columbian Exposition, also known as the World’s Fair (“Fair”) of Chicago.  It is made of silk, and features a forty-four star flag in the background and a canted overprint of the Fair in the foreground.  The forty-four stars of the flag are in what appears to be a linear 8-8-6-6-8-8 pattern on a cornflower blue canton.  This is a very unusual arrangement, in that the vast majority of forty-four star flags have an 8-7-7-7-7-8 pattern.  An example of this bandanna is documented in the Threads of History, written by Herbert Ridgeway Collins (see item number 722).  The referenced example was held in the private collection of Staples and Charles.  Mr. Collins was the curator of the Division of Political History at the Smithsonian Institute.        

The Fair was held in 1893, and celebrated the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival to the New World.  Several cities—including St. Louis, New York, Washington D.C., and Chicago—expressed interest in hosting the Fair, so as to promote their respective cities and generate revenue.  New York’s elite pledged $15 million to host it, while Chicago’s elite matched and exceeded this pledge.  As a result of Chicago’s higher pledge, Congress chose it to host the Fair.  Forty-six nations participated in the six month event, and approximately 26 million people attended it.  The Fair became an early symbol for American Exceptionalism and Chicago’s power.

John Wellborn Root, Daniel Burnham, and Frederick Law Olmsted designed the layout of the Fair.  Their design was based on French neoclassical architectural principals, such as balance, symmetry, and splendor.  The Fair covered over 600 acres, and had nearly 200 temporary buildings in the neighborhoods of South Shore, Jackson Park Highlands, Hyde Park, and Woodlawn.  The buildings surrounded a large water pool, meant to represent Columbus’s voyage to the New World.  The Fair was referred to as the White City, in part because of the extensive use of white plaster on the buildings (nearly all of which were temporary), and because of the extensive use of street lights illuminating them.  The White City inspired the City Beautiful movement and modern city planning.  The centerpiece of the Fair was the world’s first Ferris Wheel, designed by George Ferris.  It was 264 feet tall and had a total capacity for 2,160 people. 

The forty-four star flag represents the inclusion of Wyoming to the Union.  Wyoming was admitted on July 10th, 1890, and this flag became official on July 4th, 1891.  Presidents Benjamin Harrison and Grover Cleveland served under this flag. 

In 1889, Congress considered adding the Dakota Territory as a single state.  What happened, however, was that the Dakota Territory was split it into two states: North Dakota and South Dakota, and they were both admitted on November 2nd, 1889.  Soon thereafter, on November 8th, 1889, Montana was admitted as the forty-first state, and on November 11th, 1889, Washington was admitted as the forty-second.  When Congress went on break, flag makers began producing anticipatory forty-two star flags for the following July 4th, 1890.

To the surprise of many, on July 3rd, 1890—just one day before the forty-two star flag was going to be official—Congress admitted Idaho as the forty-third state.  As a result, the forty-two star flag never became official, but the forty-three star did.  Just a few days later, on July 10th, 1890, Congress admitted Wyoming as the forty-fourth state.  As a result of this rapid succession of state admissions, flag makers made large quantities of unofficial forty-two star flags and official forty-four star flags, but hardly any forty-three star flags (despite it being an official star count).

The forty-four star flag is relatively rare when compared to, for example, the forty-five star flag, as a result of it being used after the Centennial, but before the Spanish American War.  The forty-four star flag was the official flag for five years up until July 4th, 1896, the time at which the forty-five star flag became official and began to represent the inclusion of Utah in the Union. 

Conservation Process: This bandanna was hand sewn to cotton fabric, and both were hand sewn to a mounting board.  To prevent the black dye in the cotton fabric from seeping into the bandanna, it was first washed in a standard wash and then in a dye setting wash.  The bandanna is positioned behind a UV resistant acrylic, and spaced apart therefrom using spacers. 

Frame: This offering is in our Large Gold Frame.  However, it can be reframed using any one of our Medium or Large Frames, which are shown in the final two images.  The pricing associated with the different framing options may vary.  Reframing of an offering may delay shipment by up to two weeks.   

Condition Report: This bandanna has some very minor stains, the most notable of which is the discoloration shown in the images over the verbiage “SOUVENIR OF WORLD’S FAIR | CHICAGO 1893.”  In all other respects, this bandanna is beautiful, has striking colors, and is a statement piece.  

Collectability Level: The Good – Perfect for Beginning Collectors and Gifts Date of Origin: 1893  
Number of Stars: 44
Associated State: Wyoming  

Frame:
Quantity:
Add To Cart