This is a flag pole holder from the "WRC" or Woman's Relief Corps. Originally this group was made up of the wives of Union veterans and was allied, or an auxillery group, with the G.A.R. or Grand Army of the Republic, the largest Union veterans group in post Civil War America. 1883 designates the year the group was incorporated. This date appears on all flag stands made for the group into the 1950's if not beyond and does not mark the date of manufacture of that particular item. I too would say do not try to clean the stand, save to dust it. They are not all that valuable, they often pop up on eBayy and at flea markets, but do hold most flags in a dandy fashion.
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