Centennial Exposition

of the Ohio Valley and Central States
Cincinnati 1888

Reference Number:- Sprake Number:- Godden Number:-
st 68 STG118 un-numbered
 

Image of Centennial buildings
the image of this silk picture was kindly donated by John Hartwig, USA
 
Image of Centennial buildings
same silk picture, but without Mannion credit, and slightly different wording on last row

Words:
Woven on silk:-
 

Printed at bottom of card-mount:-
WOVEN IN PURE SILK BY J. J. MANNION & Co., CINCINNATI, OHIO.

CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION

OF THE OHIO VALLEY AND CENTRAL STATES.

CINCINNATI 1888

Size:
Card-mount:
19.5cm deep by 25.0cm wide

silk:
7.0cm high by 17.8cm wide

Comments:
by Austin Sprake:
Mannion is credited as one of Stevens' agents in the U.S.A. and it seems clear that some of Stevens's silks were being sold under Mannion's name. "The Finish" has been seen with similar Mannion identification. 

by Geoffrey Godden:
A landscape view of the exterior of this 1888 Exhibition is here illustrated with the printed credit on the card-mount 'Woven in pure silk by J. J. Mannion & Co. Cincinnati, Ohio'. Although Mannion was one of Stevens' agents in America, there is no evidence that this example was, in fact, woven by Thomas Stevens of Coventry; and the type used for the printed title does not match that on true Stevens card-mounts.

Other comments:
There is evidence that Mannion and Stevens sold the same bookmarks, some with the Mannion name as the weaver, and some with no name at all. It is unclear who actually wove those bookmarks, although it does seem as if perhaps both wove the silks, but used Stevens cards.

As for the silk pictures above, one card mount has the Mannion name as the weaver, whilst the other has no name. Note however that the Mannion version has more of the building displayed to the left of the picture.

It would seem that visitors to the Exposition were able to buy un-mounted copies of the picture silk, and have them attached to stiff backing paper as if they were bookmarks. Below is an image of one such " loose " silk picture. Of particular interest though is the wording printed on that backing paper:

WOVEN IN PURE SILK
BY
STEVENGRAPH MFG. CO.
J. J. MANNION & CO., Sole Props
CINCINNATI, O.

Taken at face value, this printing would reinforce that Stevens and Mannion worked together.
Also below is an image of another loose silk, but again, there is more of the building displayed to the left of the weaving.
The " bookmark version " silk is the same as the un-named picture above, whilst the totally loose silk is identical to the Mannion version. This would suggest that whilst both Stevens and Mannion collaborated, they did actually have different looms, with the Stevens version being the one with the restricted view of the Exposition buildings.

Image of Centennial buildings
" loose " picture silk attached to stiff backing paper as if it were a bookmark.
This version is probably the STEVENS version
 
Image of Centennial buildings
totally loose version which is probably that of Mannion
 

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This page was created on 14 December 2003
small image added 27 March 2004, which was replaced on 31 January 2015;
and large good quality image from John Hartwig added 30 December 2012.
Image without Mannion credit replaced 11 January 2018. As loose "bookmark mounted" backing paper found, image added, and wording changed 21 January 2018. © Peter Daws
Web site address: www.stevengraph-silks.com