July 22, 2009 | Something weird happened to Jeff Bridgman and his business in 2008—in fact, two weird things. In the midst of a global economic collapse, he had his best year ever, and in December, he made a large sale to a Democrat. "To the best of my knowledge, it was the first time I'd ever made a major sale to a Democrat," says the genial owner of Jeff R. Bridgman Antiques, who specializes in American flags and political campaign textiles. "I never had any Democrats before, but all of a sudden, since Obama got in office, whoa."
For all the Democrats who symbolically took back the flag in the last election, at least a few are also taking it literally. Still, despite the political associations with many of the things Bridgman sells, it's not politics that drives his business. To see an exhibit of his flags and banners is to experience not patriotic fervor but something else: a quickening of the heart, a kind of giddiness over objects where history, design, imagination, and industry converge.…» More
by Émile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933), 1926. Macassar ebony, amaranth, and ivory. Metropolitan Museum of Art. By Cynthia Drayton» View All