Another messy celebrity divorce!
Quilt dated 1867
You may be familiar with Lucinda Ward Honstain's pictorial quilt in the collection of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum thanks to Ardis & Robert James. The quilt holds the record for the most expensive quilt ever sold.
Imagery is obviously related to the Civil War.
"Jeff Davis & Daughter"
Lucinda did not leave us many text messages.
"Master I Am Free"
So the 41 blocks are open to interpretation based on what we know about Lucinda.
In 2003 Melissa Stewart Jurgena and Patricia Cox Crews published "The Reconciliation Quilt: Lucinda Ward Honstain's Pictorial Diary of An American Era" in Folk Art the magazine of the American Museum of Folk Art. Jurgena's research into Lucinda's life gave us much information.
IQSCM has two quilts by Lucinda, this one dated 1867
and initialed E.B., probably for Emma Honstain Bingham.
Done Nov th. 18, 1867"
Does the date refer to her finishing the whole quilt or just to the block
with the ice cream vendor?
See the link to the Folk Art magazine article below.
And in the IQSCM's recent catalog Quilts in the Industrial Age, Assistant Curator of Exhibitions Jonathan Gregory found more information, including a record of the Honstain's divorce in Cuyahoga County, Ohio in March, 1866.
Jonathan also found clues to the meaning of the man on the right
in an image from the New York Public Library--- a street
entertainer like an organ grinder with a hurdy-gurdy instrument
hanging from his neck.
It's easy to trace someone with the unusual name of John Baptiste Honstain in the military records and we find that Lucinda's husband did indeed serve in the Union Army. And here is where the plot thickens. Suzanne Antippas, who comments on this blog with helpful genealogical information, found out quite a bit about Lucinda's husband. She read his military records, pension records, etc.
We also found out quite a bit about the Honstains' post-War marital woes. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle published at least five accounts of the end of the marriage in 1865 and 1866. It was not pretty, involved the whole neighborhood and a few arrests.
1866 map with the Honstain home a red star on Leonard Street between
Devoe and Ainsley in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.
The corner is still there and the house may be too.
The New York papers across the East River also took note of the arrest.
Folk Art magazine article.
See a large photo of the IQSCM quilt here: