William Winner : James Pancoast (c. 1815–1883)
William Winner (James Pancoast (c. 1815–1883))

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Artist: William Winner
Title: James Pancoast (c. 1815–1883)
Media: Oil on canvas, 36 1/8 × 28 7/8 inches
Description: Signed and inscribed at lower center: “W. E. WINNER./PORTRAIT PAINTER/No. 35 No. 2nd St./Phila”
Inscribed in ink on stretcher verso: “WINNER, W. E./JAMES PANCOURT OF BORDEN-TOWN, N.J./W 10076”

This portrait probably dates from 1844, when Winner listed his address in Artists’ Fund Society exhibition catalogue as “Second above Market,” thus matching the “35 No. 2nd St.” given in the inscription. The inscription on the reverse identifies the sitter as James Pancourt of Bordentown, yet there is no record that such a person existed. This may in fact be James Pancoast, whose name appears in the 1840 New Jersey Burlingtown County and Chesterfield Township census. Records at the International Genealogical Index suggest that Pancoast was born in Philadelphia around 1773, one of four children born to Samuel and Sarah Stephens Pancoast.1 The New Jersey State Archives in Trenton has a will and inventory (no. 15426C) of a James Pancoast of Bordentown that was filed in March, 1848. The document indicated that he had been in the lumber business, and was fairly wealthy. His estate, which was valued at $6,623.76, was divided among his three children (one of whom was described as being in a “state of alienation of mind”). The will mentions that his wife’s name was Sarah, and the New Jersey State Archives has a record that states a James Pancoast married Sarah Wright, daughter of Israel and Alice Wright, on Dec. 13, 1797 in Bordentown. It is quite plausible that these documents refer to the same person, and that this is the portly and elderly gentleman who appears in Winner’s portrait.


1. See the Mormon Church’s genealogical records at their website: http://www.familysearch.org

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Price: Price upon request
Inventory: RS 5112
Category: •a:American•a:Pennsylvania•a:Philadelphia•male•New Jersey•nineteenth century•portrait•
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