Ornamental Separator

Hatching a Bouquet

Flowers fashioned from egg cartons are a lasting 
reminder of spring

Around the time of her marriage in 1759, Elizabeth Allen Deas posed for a portrait that is attributed to Charleston, South Carolina, artist Jeremiah Theus. She was about 16 years old when she married John Deas, a planter and merchant. They lived on Thorogood, a plantation near Goose Creek that was ravaged by the British during the Revolutionary War.

The Deas family was well-known in Charleston. Brothers John and David Deas were active in the slave-trading business. David was mayor of the city from 1802 to 1803. A son of John and Elizabeth Deas — Henry Deas — served as president of South Carolina’s Senate from 1828 to 1835.

Theus was Charleston’s resident portrait painter for some 30 years. He completed more than 150 portraits. Many of his clients were plantation owners who commissioned him to render likenesses of family members.

In Theus’ portrait, Elizabeth Deas holds a ring of colorful flowers that is the inspiration for a paper egg carton project.

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