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Envelope relating to a 19th century hand sewn silk flag

Date: c 1876
175 x 300 mm, 0.016 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Envelope
Object No: 00003069

User Terms

    This envelope relates to a hand sewn silk flag awarded to the winner of the 1876 Balmain Regatta. The inscription identifies Mrs Deloitte, a member of a prominent Birchgrove family, as the flag's maker. Her son Quarton Levitt Deloitte, a keen oarsman, was one of the founders of the Sydney Rowing Club in 1870 and was the club's first captain.
    SignificanceThis envelope referring to a hand made flag is representative of the history of hand sewn flags used in Australia at regattas towards the end of the 19th century.
    HistoryAlfred Milson purchased the 9-ton cutter IONE in 1876. It was built in 1867 by W Langford for J G Ross. Alfred Milson reconditioned the cutter by ballasting it with sheet lead on the outside of the keel. It was the first yacht to be entirely ballasted outside. The experiment was successful when IONE won the Balmain (Snails Bay) Regatta with Alfred at the helm and his brother Arthur in the crew. This victory marked the debut of a third generation of Milson's to yachting.

    The hand sewn flag is an early and provenanced prize for the winner of the 1876 Balmain Regatta. While winner’s details can readily be traced through public records the makers of such hand sewn pieces of silk are often anonymous. It is therefore unusual to have the identity of the maker through the associated text on the envelope in which the flag was originally stored. Published accounts of the development of the White Ensign/Australian Ensign indicate it was popularly used in the 1890s. This silk flag predates this popular usage by almost fifteen years.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Envelope concerning the silk flag made by Mrs Deloitte

    Web title: Envelope relating to a 19th century hand sewn silk flag

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