"Betsy Ross Liberty Bell" printed dress silk, Mallinson's Early American series

"Betsy Ross / Liberty Bell" printed dress silk, Mallinson's Early American series

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Usage conditions apply
Length of printed "Vagabond Crepe" (Mallinson trade name). Weft ribbed, crepe fabric woven with silk warp and doupion weft. Printed allover pattern "Betsy Ross-Liberty Bell," one of the "Early American" series. Jagged, rayed "Art Deco" or "Jazz Age" depiction of the Liberty Bell; Thirteen stars with coats of arms in them of the 13 original states; Washington inspecting Betsy Ross's flag; and Independence Hall. Colorway: Light blue ground (fading out in sections to pinkish tone) White reserves, print in black, coral, pink, red. Selvage width; selvage inscription. Judging from drawings by free-lance textile designer Walter Mitschke in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, Mitschke designed this print and several others in the Early American series.
Mallinson's 1929 "Early American" series of printed dress silks was based on historical events and figures that were perceived at the time to consitute a shared American story. It was the last of the company's line of designs based on American themes in which each design was printed in at least seven colors, in several colorways, on three or four different ground cloths. The stock market crash and economic depression that followed made the investment in this kind of design unprofitable.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Fabric Length
Date made
H. R. Mallinson & Co. Inc.
place made
United States: New York, New York City
Physical Description
silk (overall material)
gray-blue ground (overall color)
orange (overall color)
dark blue (overall color)
white (overall color)
red (overall color)
pink (overall color)
plain weave; cylinder-printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 36 in x 35 1/2 in; 91.44 cm x 90.17 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of H.R. Mallinson & Co., Inc.
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
American Silks
American Silk Industry
Mallinson's Early American
Migel-Mallinson Silks
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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