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Dover, Delaware


James Henry Stevenson (1811–1849)

33 in x 18 1/2 in x 18 1/8 in Mahogany; white pine (drawer front and rails) and tulip poplar (drawer side and bottom)

Historic Odessa Foundation


"J H St Maker / 1830 Dover / Dl” is in black paint on the inside of the lower rear rail.

The stamped brass pull is a replacement.

The washstand was acquired by a local dealer from an estate in Sussex County, Delaware.

This simple, utilitarian washstand was proudly marked by its young maker.  James Henry Stevenson, “Maker,” was the second son of Dover cabinetmaker Thomas Stevenson (1787–1865), who also trained him in that trade.  James made the stand in his eighteenth year, having been born on December 23.  It required rudimentary furniture making skills:  dovetailing the drawer sides, tapering the legs on the two inside surfaces, and applying veneers to the drawer front and the narrow blades above and below.

The washstand has two flat surfaces.  Typically, the top held a ceramic wash bowl and the lower held a water pitcher.

Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 172-173.