Antique Early American Sailor’s Sea Bag

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ANTIQUE EMBROIDERED  SAILOR’S SEA BAG
  FOLK ART
Ca 1795
 




          Measurements:  
           
          
Bag:  38 1/2 “x 22”                        
Width of each panel: 12”
           
Width at Top: 22″                           
at Bottom: 17″  
           
          
Decorations: Flag                           Top
of pole to bottom: 7″
           Anchor: 2″
                                      Tree
& Serpent: 3″
                      

                              

    Presented is an early example of a sea bag possibly
    dating as far back as 1795. It was made either ashore or at sea for a named seaman, out of linen panels and
    hand sewn and hand embroidered. It is decorated with with traditional symbols of the period comprised of:=LEFT>

      • 19 Star and 15 stripe American flag
      • Large ornate star medallion on the bottom
      • Anchor
      • Tree and serpent – Adam & Eve 
      • Numerous other stars

The embroidery is done in gold, navy and beige thread, and is
of exceptionally fine quality indicating a very accomplished artisan as shown by the star emblem on the bottom of the bag.

    THE FLAG: The nineteen star, fifteen stripe flag
    dates from 1795 when the number of stars and stripes were increased to reflect the entry of Kentucky and Vermont into the
    Union. It is the style flag that flew at Fort Mc Henry in 1812 inspiring Francis Scott Key to write “The Star
    Spangled Banner“, now our national anthem. This arrangement was not changed until April, 1818 when the number of stars
    was increased to twenty, and the number if stripes reduced to thirteen, honoring the original colonies.


      19 Stars and 15 Stripes used from 1795 until
    1818

    CONDITION:This piece is in excellent condition
    for its age. It shows some inserted star embroidery over a worn area, and there is an abrasion next to the owner’s
    name. Mounted and framed, this would be a stunning folk art textile piece.

      Owner’s signature and abrasion to right

    SAILOR’S NAME: The handwritten initials and the last name
    on the bag are difficult to read, and we suggest two possibilities. Either S.B. Haywood or R.B. Raymond. It
    is rare that the owner of a sea bag such as this is known so that some research as to who this person was will pay lasting
    dividends and add appreciably to its value.

      Major elements of design with more on bottom
    and perimeters

    After 1718, American linen quality improved greatly
    due to over 100 Scotch-Irish families from Northern Ireland, a center for the production of fine linens, arriving
    in North America bringing with them their important manufacturing skills. They made Londonderry, New Hampshire their
    home, and the area developed into a center for American linen manufacturing in the 18th century.

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