Freeman’s debuts Market Street gallery with U.S. flag sale Nov. 24

Hand-sewn 13-Star ‘Great Star’ pattern American Flag, late 18th/early 19th century. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000. Freeman’s image

PHILADELPHIA — Freeman’s will stage the inaugural exhibition and auction of A Grand Old Flag: The Stars & Stripes Collection of Dr. Peter J. Keim in the auctioneer’s new 2400 Market Street gallery. Absentee and Internet live bidding for the Nov. 24 auction is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Recognized as one of the most comprehensive collections of American flags in the country, the Keim Collection ranges from a rare handmade, late 18th/early 19th century, 13-star flag (above; $15,000-$25,000) to the 50-star flag flown in Kuwait by the Marines prior the invasion of Baghdad in 2003 (Lot 100; $2,000-$3,000), with  examples of most in-between iterations. The auction will include 192 lots of historic flags and flag related artifacts with estimates ranging from $300-$500 to $25,000-$50,000.

‘Know Nothing’ American Flag dated ‘1858,’ appliqued, printed cotton portrait medallion depicting George Washington below a spread wing eagle and crossed American Flags heightened with 13 embroidered stars. Estimate: $25,000-$50,000. Freeman’s image

The Keim Collection has been featured in numerous publications, programs and exhibitions across the country. In addition, a number of items to be offered have the provenance of the legendary flag collection of Boleslaw and Marie-Louise d’Otrange Mastai. Dr. Keim has lectured extensively on the history of the American flag, appeared on national news programs, and on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow.

Hand-sewn 28-Star ‘Great Star’ American Flag commemorating Texas statehood, circa 1846. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000. Freeman’s image

Selections from the collection were displayed twice in the famed windows at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, initially on the first anniversary of 9/11—notably without mannequins or fashion—and secondly, upon the publication of A Grand Old Flag: A History of the United States through its Flags (2007) by Dr. Peter J. Keim and Kevin Keim.

Hand-sewn 33-Star American flag with Civil War, First Battle of Bull Run association, circa 1860. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000. Freeman’s image

Auction highlights include a 33-star American Flag associated with the First Battle of Bull Run, circa 1860, the hoist bearing the inscription, “Musician James Marshall, Co. B. 1st Regt. RI, Detached Militia, Providence, Bull Run.” (Lot 43; $20,000-$30,000), as well as a 36-star American flag made by Mary Suffern Bunce (1816-1891) for the funeral procession of Abraham Lincoln in New York City (Lot 59; $3,000-$5,000). In addition, the sale will showcase a “Know Nothing” American flag, dated 1858, for the nativist party that flourished in the United States prior the Civil War (Lot 39; $25,000-$50,000), and a rare 28-star American flag commemorating Texas statehood, circa 1846, with stenciled stars and 11 red, white and blue stripes (Lot 29; $15,000- $25,000).

Hand-sewn 36-Star American flag associated with the funeral procession of President Abraham Lincoln made by Mary Suffern Bunce (1816-1891), New York, NY, 1865. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Freeman’s image

For details contact Lynda Cain, Freeman’s vice president and head of American furniture, folk and decorative arts, lcain@freemansauction.com or 267-414-1237.