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Cut and gilded silhouette of an elegant lady

Item Ref. 4866

BRITISH SCHOOL, circa 1825

This is a cut and finely gilded bust-length silhouette of an elegant young lady, her hair swept up in a fashionable Apollo knot secured with a large tortoiseshell comb and with long ringlets clasped to the side of her face. Her dress has wide sleeves and a round neck-line and for jewellery she is wearing a long gold chain, a beaded necklace and gold drop earrings.

The silhouette is cut and laid on card. It is housed in a particularly handsome flat profile rosewood veneer frame with a gilt slip. Fine condition.

Size: framed, 8½ x 7½" (216 x 189mm)

Price: £235

Item Ref. 4811


This is a handsome pair of painted full-length silhouettes depicting Josiah Corrie and his wife Ann. Josiah is standing proudly and wearing a double-breasted tail-coat, a shirt with a standing collar and a black stock, a seal hangs from his waistband. Ann is holding a large handkerchief and is wearing a dress with a full skirt and sleeves that are puffed at the shoulder (with mancherons) and then tight to the wrist. Her hair is elegantly drawn up in an Apollo knot with ringlets round her face.

Josiah Corrie was born in 1774 and became an attorney-at-law. In 1826 he married Ann Greenway who was born in 1790 in Warwickshire. The couple lived at Mosely, nowadays a suburb of Birmingham and had five children. Josiah died in 1841 aged 67; Ann died in 1864 aged 74.

The silhouettes are painted with gum arabic and gilding used to highlight the details of their costume and hair. They are set against a watercolour wash background and are housed in the original flat profile bird's eye maple frames with gilt slips. Both profiles have some age-browning to the background card with some darker spots visible on the gentleman. Both frames have old damage and loss to the corners and bottom edges but are still handsome (click on the images to view this in more detail).

Size: framed, 133/8 x 9¾" (345 x 246mm)

S O L D !

Painted full-length silhouette of Ann Corrie

Painted full-length silhouette of Josiah Corrie

Rare painted silhouette by Prosopographus

Rare Prosopographus label

Item Ref. 4787


This is a bust-length silhouette of a gentleman named on the reverse in minuscule handwriting as Wilfred Spier of Cambridge. He has bushy side-whiskers and curly hair and is wearing spectacles. It is dated 1820 on the reverse.

The silhouette is painted on card and gilded. It is backed with the rare Prosopographus trade label no.1 on cerise paper. The silhouette is handsomely housed in a deep bird's eye maple frame with a gilded slip.

Size: framed, 75/8 x 6" (192 x 155mm)

Price: £220

A professional fruit-grower and professor of music, Charles Hervé II invented a mechanical device for drawing the outline of silhouettes which he named ‘Prosopographus, the Automaton Artist’. He exhibited it around the country as a great curiosity. A contemporary handbill claimed that it could ‘produce more perfect resemblances than any living artist [could] possibly execute’ while an advertisement in The Examiner for the Year 1826 claimed that to ‘witness this extraordinary performance, but One Shilling is required from each visitor ... from Tea till Dusk’.

Item Ref. 4102

ROYAL VICTORIA GALLERY, after 1837 - circa 1854

This is a full-length profile of a slender young lady named Anna M. Garrett. Anna is wearing a narrow-waisted dress with Victoria sleeves that are tight above and full below the elbow. She has a square brooch on her corsage, a fashionable long gold necklace and pendant earrings. Her hair has been looped over her ears and drawn back into a plaited knot with a narrow bandeau.

The silhouette has been cut and is extensively gilded to highlight all the costume details. It is signed and dated Frith / 1839 and the lady's name has been added in watercolour by her feet.

The silhouette is presented in a bird's eye maple veneer frame with a gilt slip.

Framed size: 13¼ x 10¼" (336 x 260mm)

Price: £280

The Royal Victoria Gallery was run by three members of the Frith family: brothers, Henry Albert & Frederick and their father, John. The Gallery advertised themselves as 'PAPRYOTOMISTS to His Late as well as to her present Most Gracious Majesty'. They toured Ireland and England during the 1830s and 40s producing highly finished work.

Silhouette of a lady by the Royal Victoria Gallery dated 1839

Signed and dated 1839 on the obverse

Painted silhouette of a child

Item Ref. 3739

SCOTTISH? SCHOOL, circa 1820

This is a charming silhouette of a child with short hair and a cut little snub nose. The child is wearing a high-waisted dress with short sleeves and a beaded necklace. A partial inscription on the backing paper reads: Falkner, Edinburgh.

The silhouette is painted with gum arabic used to trace the details of the child's dress, beaded necklace and hair. It is set in the original papier-mâché frame with an emblems (rose, thistle & shamrock) hanger.

Framed size: 5 x 4¼" (128 x 113mm)

Price: £110

Item Ref. 4934

H. and J. WALTER, circa 1850

This is a profile of a child, most likely a boy, brandishing a toy whip. The child has short hair and is wearing a bolero-style coat over a calf-length dress with white socks and dainty shoes with ankle straps.

The silhouette is cut and gilded, with Chinese white used for the child's socks. It is stamped on the reverse with the artists' stencil - H. & J. Walter / Profilists/ London - and is presented in the original rosewood frame with a gilded slip. There is also an unrecorded paper trade label on the reverse of the frame with the same wording as the stencil. Fine condition

Size: framed, 8½ x 6¾" (215 x 175mm)

Price: £240

Stencil stamp for H. & J. Walter, silhouette artistsTrade label for H. & J. Walter, silhouette artists

The silhouette artists H. & J. Walter were active between about 1848 and 1853 and are known from just a handful of examples of their work.

Cut and gilded silhouette by H & J Walter

Cut and gilded silhouette of a teenage schoolboy

Item Ref. 4210

ENGLISH SCHOOL, circa 1850

This small half-length silhouette portrait depicts a teenage scholar wearing a mortar board. A pencil inscription on the reverse names him as 15 year old R. H. Jackson.

The silhouette is cut and gilded and is set in a period rosewood frame with a gilt slip.

Framed size: 7 x 5½" (180 x 142mm)

Price: £140


Item Ref. 2394

ENGLISH SCHOOL, circa 1830

This attractive silhouette portrait is painted with a touch of colour and portrays a young lady wearing a dress with full, possibly 'leg of mutton' sleeves and a coral beaded necklace. Her hair is swept up into an Apollo knot and secured with a large comb.

The silhouette is painted in dark grey watercolour with gold paint used to accentuate the hair. It is set in a handsome period bird's eye maple frame.

Framed size: 77/8 x 7½" (185 x 140mm)

Price: £120

Painted silhouette portrait of a lady

Painted silhouette portrait of a lady

18th century cut silhouette of a lady

Inscription on the silhouette

Item Ref. 4840

MRS MILLICENT BROWN, active 1772-1809

This silhouette is remarkable not just because it is an eighteenth century example of cut-work but also because it is so quirky. The name of the lady is inscribed in pencil below the base (hidden by the slip) as Lady Long and she stands, one hand on hip, as if on stage. Her dress has an incredibly narrow waistline, a tiered ankle-length skirt and beribboned sleeves. But it is her hat that is most eye-catching, decked out with ribbons and ostrich feathers.

Although unsigned, the silhouette is firmly attributed to Mrs Brown on several grounds: the profile dates to around 1780 and so is from the correct period; the use of white paper that has been blackened; the slash cutting (a trait of her work) used in the feathers; and the cut base that is integral to the profile and is another feature of Mrs Brown's work.

The silhouette is set in a later maple veneer frame with a gilt slip (some loss of veneer on the returns). The background paper has some age-browning (a piece of acid-free card has now been inserted behind the profile to prevent further browning). Otherwise the piece is in fine condition.

Size: framed, 93/8 x 7½" (237 x 191mm)

S O L D !

Little is known about Millicent Brown who was a talented amateur artist living at Portman Square in London. A substantial album of her cut profiles was last recorded in a New Jersey collection and contained silhouettes of many figures from the English aristocracy. How wonderful it would be to have the opportunity to peruse that album!

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Cynthia McKinley
Wigs on the Green Fine Art, York
Tel. +44 (0)1904 794711             Mobile: 07962 257915
Email: enquiries@wigsonthegreen.co.uk