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Conservation and Preservation

Needlework Sampler worked by Ann Butler Danby (2019)

In November 2019, the Delaware Historical Society was fortunate enough to receive a grant from the from the Delaware Valley Historic Sampler Guild in Hockessin to help us conserve and stabilize a sampler from our needlework collection. The sampler, worked in 1802 by eleven-year-old Ann Butler Danby, is currently in the same very fragile condition in which it came into our collection and cannot currently be safely be studied or displayed. The conservation needs of the sampler are currently being assessed.

The Conservation of the Dansey Flag (2019)

One of our most iconic Delaware objects from the Battle of the Brandywine, known as the Dansey flag,  received professional attention from textile conservator, Virginia Whelan of Filaments Conservation Studio in 2019, when it was being prepared to go on temporary exhibit at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia as part of a special exhibition, Cost of Revolution: The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier. The silk militia flag, the only surviving Revolutionary War flag from Delaware, was removed from its original fame for a careful condition assessment, gently surface cleaned, and then remounted into a brand new, preservation-grade pressure mount frame. The flag is currently on display in the Delaware History Museum.

“Rally Round the Flags” Campaign to Conserve Two Civil War Battle Flags (2014)

The Delaware Historical Society is home to Delaware’s collection of Civil War battle flags, two of which were selected for special conservation work to celebrate both the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War and the Delaware Historical Society’s 150th birthday in 2014. The Regimental and Federal colors carried by the First Delaware Volunteers at the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg received professional attention from textile conservator, Nancy Love of Philadelphia Textile & Object Conservation. The fragile, crumbling silk fabric of both flags was stabilized and realigned, and both flags were installed in preservation grade pressure mount frames to protect them from further deterioration and allow for safe display and transportation. The conserved flags are on display in the Delaware History Museum.

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