[CIVIL WAR]. DAVIS, Jefferson (1808-1889), President, C.S.A. Signature ("Jefferson Davis") on a decoratively embossed album leaf bearing a handsewn silk Confederate First National flag, n.p., n.d. [February-April 1863?].
The sheet: 7 1/8 x 9 7/8 in., broad borders embossed with a decorative pattern of scrolling foliage. The C.S.A. flag: 3¾ x 5 5/8 in., neatly sewn in silk with two red and one white stripes, the square blue canton containing seven small stars composed of tiny brass beads. Very minor surface soiling to margins, the flag in excellent condition.
A fine relic of the early days of the Confederacy. The decoration of the leaf, the form of Davis's signature and the flag design are all entirely consistent with a date of 1861. The seven stars featured on the hand-made flag represent the sequence of states which had joined the Confederacy by February: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas (on 1 February). Usually, the symbolic stars were arraged in a circle, or in a circle around a central star. It was not until after the Fort Sumter firing (April 12), that the seven states were joined, between April and June, by an additional four states. The 8th, Virginia, seceded on 17 April; the present flag, therefore, is likely to have been sewn by a patriotic seamstress between February and April 1861.
Provenance: According to a note which accompanies the lot, the leaf with flag and signature was removed from an album purchased from a descendant of Howell Cobb (1815-1868) of Georgia, U.S. Secretary of State 1857-1860, who resigned upon Lincoln's election and supported the Confederacy.