As we count the days to Christmas (5 more sleeps) a little holiday greeting dated 20 December 1884. This hand-painted work is by Annie Hewlett Deveber (1855-1927), the wife of Gabriel Deveber IV (1854-1934), the son of Gabriel Deveber III (1820-1854) and Benjamina Gabriella Deveber (1822-1892) of Gagetown. Annie married Gabriel IV somewhat later in life given the standards of the day on 27 August 1889 at the age of 34. She was the youngest daughter of Richard Hewlett (c. 1797-1887) and Margaret Paddock (c. 1813-1873). Annie and Gabriel had one child, Gabrielle, born in November 1890 but who died a few months later in August 1891 of “congestion of the brain”.
The Devebers lived in the magnificent gothic house in Gagetown built about 1850 called Claremont. The house is based upon one of Andrew Jackson Downing’s plans for Victorian cottages and houses and is one of the finest buildings along the St. John River. The family itself includes several prominent Loyalists and early leaders of Gagetown and Queens County. Gabriel IV’s grandfather was Nathaniel Deveber (1785-1877), the High Sheriff of Queens County for decades. Also in the heritage collection is Sheriff Deveber’s office chair.
Queens County Heritage is proud to possess several other examples of Annie Hewlett Deveber’s works including painting on a porcelain cup and saucer and a Bohemian glass vase from about 1900. Little is known about her background or training, however her work is recognized as very fine and more than competent, carrying on the tradition of Queens County fine art from Thomas MacDonald, Anthony Flower, and Abraham Wood. The small Christmas greeting is one of our personal favourites, done prior to her marriage, and hangs in the parlour of the Tilley House. Be sure to stop by next summer to see the piece close-up!