November 17, 2020 Early Arms & Militaria: Age of Exploration, Empire & Revolution
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/17/2020
Lefferts, Charles MacKubin (1873-1923). “Our Flag: First Under Fire". Oil on canvas, 31" x 23", signed by artist "Chas. M. Lefferts" in lower left corner, in contemporary carved and gilded frame with nameplate. Charles M. Lefferts was an American artist who specialized in historical paintings of the Revolutionary era. He is perhaps best known for his pioneering book, "Uniforms of the American, British, French, and German Armies in the War of the American Revolution", published posthumously. This unpublished painting is his depiction of the first documented raising and use of the “Stars and Stripes” of the infant United States of America under fire, which occurred on August 3, 1777 during the unsuccessful siege of Fort Stanwix by a force of British, Loyalist and Indian forces. In it, we see the men and women of the garrison drawn up on the parade, while the flag is hoisted up the pole on one of the bastions. The Continental Congress adopted the following resolution on June 14, 1777: “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white, on a blue field, representing a new constellation.” Although the resolution was not officially sanctioned and put into effect by Congress until September 3, the description in the resolution was previously printed in the newspapers. Massachusetts reinforcements to the post brought news of the adoption by Congress of the official flag. Soldiers cut up their shirts to make the white stripes and stars; flannel from the petticoats of officers’ wives provided for the red stripes, while the ground of the blue canton was cut from Captain Abraham Swartwout’s uniform coat. An extant voucher in the Papers of the Continental Congress proves that Swartwout was eventually compensated for the use of his coat in making the flag. Most of the known historical artwork by Lefferts survives in the collections of the New York Historical Society, along with his papers. This is a rare opportunity for a collector or institution to acquire a work by this artist, one chronicling a famous Revolutionary War event. PROVENANCE: The Dr. John Lattimer Family Collection. CONDITION: The unlined painting is on its original stretcher in a contemporary composite frame; the work would benefit from conservation treatment, including surface cleaning of grime and removal of the old, yellowed varnish and minor repair of a slight perforation in the upper right of the canvas (probably from contact by another object--corner of picture frame?--at some previous date). JLK

Item Dimensions: 35 - 1/2" x 27 - 1/2"
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $3,840.00
Estimate: $2,000 - $4,000
Number Bids: 12
Auction closed on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
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