Flag Detail

  • Photo by Amanda Eberts
    Photo by Amanda Eberts
  • Photo by Amanda Eberts
    Photo by Amanda Eberts
  • Photo by Amanda Eberts
  • Photo by Amanda Eberts
  • Shaun Tolson

Jeff Bridgman’s career as a dealer of American folk art spans more than two decades, yet most of his clients have never set foot in his gallery—a 240-square-foot exhibition space on the second floor of a converted 19th-century barn in York County, Pa. In most instances, Bridgman comes to them; he’s participated in about 700 antique shows over the years. Through his namesake company, Jeff Bridgman Antiques (www.jeffbridgman.com), the 45-year-old sells quilts and other early American textiles, paintings, and decorative painted furniture, but he specializes in American flags, a commodity that he says can easily be described via e-mails and purchased online. While that remains the customary way that Bridgman sells his rare examples of Old Glory, he acknowledges that a more informative buying experience awaits customers who make an appointment to visit him in person. “They love when I pull out a whole bunch of flags that aren’t mounted, so they can feel the textiles and see them in a different environment,” he says. “I can also show them a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into conservation.”

Bridgman’s inventory of flags is 2,000 examples strong and focuses mostly on the 19th century, particularly the Civil War. His flags range from 3 inches to 15 feet in length and from $500 to $500,000 in price, but Bridgman says all of his customers acquire more than just a historical artifact. “It’s a niche inventory, and when you buy from me you get an educational experience as well,” he says. “You get an education in any art or antiques gallery, but I think there’s a different level of that [here] because flags require a history lesson more so than many other objects.”

From Around the Web...
Lennon used this piano to compose Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, A Day in the Life, and more…
The skeleton is one of only 12 in the world and the only one in private hands…
From culinary adventures to a heli-tour in the Himalayas, each lot is an enticing once-in-a-life...
The dazzling exhibition of light and mirrors will travel to five venues in 2017 and 2018…
Neil Leifer’s collection, including the world’s most famous sports photos, is being auctioned…
Chess dates back to the 6th century, but these boards are anything but traditional…
Christie’s and the Edward James Foundation Come Together to Celebrate the Surrealist Art of Dalí,...
Six one-of-a-kind holiday gifts for the art-loving connoisseur in your life…
These gifts may not be on everyone’s list, but they are still undeniably cool…
Only 21 examples of this guitar were made, each boasting nearly perfect playability, form, and tone...