April 27, 2021 10:00 EST

American Furniture, Folk and Decorative Arts

 
  Lot 43
 

43

An Irish stitch pocketbook of John Stevens, Jr.
Possibly Perth Amboy, NJ, dated "1774"

Worked with polychrome wool yarns in an overall carnation pattern, and closing with engraved shaped silver clasp, the interior bearing the name, "John Stevens junr November 19, 1774"; together with a tune book with paper wrappers inscribed in ink, "Esther Freebody/her book 1786," with four pages of handwritten music.

8 in. x 4 1/4 in.

Provenance

A private New Jersey collection.
Skinner, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, March 1, 2015, Lot 31.

Estimated at $8,000 - $12,000


 

Worked with polychrome wool yarns in an overall carnation pattern, and closing with engraved shaped silver clasp, the interior bearing the name, "John Stevens junr November 19, 1774"; together with a tune book with paper wrappers inscribed in ink, "Esther Freebody/her book 1786," with four pages of handwritten music.

8 in. x 4 1/4 in.

Provenance

A private New Jersey collection.
Skinner, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, March 1, 2015, Lot 31.

Note

The original owner of this pocketbook may have been John Stevens, Jr. (1715/16-1792) or his son, John Stevens, III (1749-1838), both prominent citizens of Perth Amboy, New Jersey. The elder, John Stevens, Jr., arrived in Perth Amboy in the early 1740s. A merchant, ship owner, landowner and politician, Stevens was an opponent of the Stamp Act and served on a committee formed to prevent the issuing of the stamps in New York City. He was elected Vice President of Council of New Jersey in 1776 and held that role until 1782. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1784 and as president of the New Jersey convention to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

His son, John Stevens III, served as treasurer for the State of New Jersey during the Revolutionary War and interestingly signed currency as, "J. Stevens Jun." An inventor, and engineer, Stevens was granted a patent for "a boiler for generating steam" and would eventually build a railroad between Trenton and New Brunswick.

Esther Freebody may have been a member of the prominent Freebody family of Newport, Rhode Island.

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