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Does anybody know what this is?

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:40 pm
by SkipperJohn
I recently bought this item which is patterned after a Kaiserliche Marine War Ensign 1892–1903:

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It is highly detailed and is made of silk:

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It exhibits all of the properties of early 1900's weighted silk (very slight glow on the red and yellow under blacklight, no glow on the white or black, slightly brittle compared to non-weighted silk, etc.) and the print is bright, though the white has faded somewhat. I have no doubt that this is an early 1900 piece:

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The detail is striking:

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The question is --- What is it? It is only 16 inches by 16 inches. It is square instead of rectangular, and it is made of silk. It was obviously never intended to be a flag. My wife thought that it might be a handkerchief, but I doubt that a patriotic German would blow his nose into such a piece. It is too small to be a podium banner. I really don't have a clue.

It is delicate so I plan to get it framed. I hope to find out what it is before I do that.

Opinions?

John :)

Re: Does anybody know what this is?

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:54 am
by aicusv
Looking at the edges, none appear to be designed for attaching this to any type of pole. The size is correct for a scarf of bandana of some kind. As a kid I remember my mother having a silk head scarf that was a copy of Napoleon's Guard Imperial's flag.

Re: Does anybody know what this is?

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:49 am
by SkipperJohn
aicusv wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:54 am
Looking at the edges, none appear to be designed for attaching this to any type of pole. The size is correct for a scarf of bandana of some kind. As a kid I remember my mother having a silk head scarf that was a copy of Napoleon's Guard Imperial's flag.
I agree that it is definitely not a flag. I suppose that it could be a scarf, but 16"X16" seems pretty small for that.
It has to have some function. With the detail and the silk material it couldn't have been cheap even back then.
It is also odd that the only fraying on this item is at the top and bottom. If it was a flag it would be frayed on the ends.
Thanks for your help and input!

John :?

Re: Does anybody know what this is?

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 4:10 pm
by b.loree
My first impression was...some kind of souvenir which would fit with the head scarf suggestion. My Scottish mother always wore head scarves when going out even into the late 1950's. I believe it was very common before, during and after WW2 for women to do this.

Re: Does anybody know what this is?

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:22 pm
by Peter_Suciu
I've seen tea towels this size.

Re: Does anybody know what this is?

Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:17 pm
by SkipperJohn
I did get this framed and it turned out pretty well. The framer couldn't get it squared up in both directions so the horizontal bars are slightly tilted at the ends; but, overall, I'm satisfied:

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The material is silk and fragile, so it was framed under protective, non reflective, glass. All-in-all it stands out in the corner of my collection room:

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John :)

Re: Does anybody know what this is?

Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:54 am
by coert65
It looks really nice in its frame John!
Makes me think I should do the same with my National Fahne I regularly use as a background for my latest additions.

Greetings, Coert. :thumb up: