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Mary Pennell's pocketbook

Odessa, Delaware



Probably Mary Pennell Corbit (1749-1783)


4 1/2 in x 7 1/8 in x 1 in


Wool (stitching), linen (canvas), silk (lining)

Credit Line

The David Wilson Mansion, Inc.

Accession Number



"MP” is stitched in white on a red ground on the front. A card inside the pocketbook says, “Purse of / Mary Pennell / 1749–1783 / Second wife of / William Corbit / (Corbit House)."

Condition Notes

Much of the wool stitching has been lost, and there are small holes in the canvas.  The silk lining is shattered and shows areas of loss.


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


Mary Pennell's pocketbook descended with two others from 18th century owners (see acc. nos. 1971.1530 and 1971.1264) through Corbit and Wilson families, to Mrs. Warner, who descended from both families.  Its dating derives from use of Mary's maiden initial before she married William Corbit in 1773.  It resembles William's pocketbook, which she may have stitched also, in use of the Irish stitch and zigzags of colors.  It differs, however, in use of a coarser yarn.


Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 190-191.