Bed curtain


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Bed curtain

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Bed curtain
c. 1785


Content Description: 

Rectangular English napped cotton or cotton/linen bed curtain with red copperplate-printed pattern titled "Washington and American Independance [sic] 1776; the Apotheosis of Franklin" printed on a beige ground. Curtain is composed of three widths of fabric seamed selvage to selvage. Top is faced with linen tape, also used to bind hem and sides. Print depicts Washington in a chariot alongside a seated figure of America, who holds a caduceus in one hand an a table inscribed "American Independance [sic] 1776." The chariot is pulled by two leopards, which are flanked by two American Indians, one holding a thirteen-striped flag and the other a flag bearing a rattlesnake inscribed "Unite or Die" and cut into thirteen parts. Soldiers carrying striped flags descend from a mountain and follow the chariot. Behind the chariot is the (labeled) Liberty Tree, bearing an upside-down placard reading "Stamp Act." Print also depicts Benjamin Franklin next to the personification of Liberty, and the two hold a banner inscribed "Where Liberty Dwells there is my Country." In front of Franklin is the goddess Athena, pointing to the "Temple of Fame," and two putti hold a globe showing America divided into Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and New England. Above Franklin are a beaver and a heron with a fish in its mouth shown in a marsh. See "inscription details" for full text.

Physical Description: 

Curtain, Bed
2715 Q St. NW,District Of Columbia,Washington,20007