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Letter box

Odessa, Delaware



Attributed to John Janvier Sr. (1749–1801)


5 1/2 in x 10 1/4 in x 3 7/8 in



Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, The David Wilson Mansion, Inc.

Accession Number



“D. WILSON” is branded into the sliding top; “D Wilson / Asignes / Bank Notes / Letters & rects” is painted in black on one end.

Condition Notes

The long side of the base to the right of the branded name has been trimmed where it projects beyond the side of the box.


Ex coll. Mrs. E. Tatnall (Mary Corbit) Warner


Without the branded name in the lid and the content description painted onto the end, the purpose of this box would be hard to discern.  That it was used for business accounts suggests proximity to a desk, which in turn suggests a reason for the unusual trimming away of the bottom-most molded edge along one side.  That adjustment may have allowed this box to slide into a pigeonhole or similar tight space.

John Janvier's name as maker derives from the Wilson association and obvious proximities.  Otherwise, the box is too simple an object to yield much maker identification. 


Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 88.