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Full-length silhouette by Charles Rosenberg

Charles Rosenberg's trade label

Item Ref. 4926


This is one of Rosenberg's lesser known full-length silhouettes reverse painted on flat glass. Even though the figure is diminutive in size - it stands at just over 10 cm in height - and has been painted in solid black without the use of transparency, the detailing is remarkable: bushy eyebrows, eyelash, double chin, two large buttons on his coat and a large bow on his bag wig. The gentleman is identified as the Earl of Guilford and is depicted holding a cane with his hat tucked under his arm and a sword hanging on his belt.

George Augustus North, 3rd Earl of Guilford was born in 1757, the eldest son of Tory Prime Minister Lord North. He followed in his father’s footsteps being educated at Eton and Oxford before entering Parliament.

The silhouette is painted on glass and is backed with the original paper (now somewhat browned). It is housed in the original giltwood frame and backed with the artist's trade label which is inscribed (perhaps in the artist's own hand) "Earl of Guilford / patron of this living / 1793". The gilding to the frame is distressed with small areas of loss. The sitter's name has been inscribed along the bottom edge though this has faded. The profile itself is in excellent condition.

Size: framed, 7¾ x 6¼" (198 x 161mm)

Price: £480

Austrian-born, Charles Rosenberg is believed to have come to England as one of the entourage accompanying Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz when she arrived in 1761 to marry King George III. This connection may explain why he enjoyed royal and aristocratic patronage throughout his career. Rosenberg settled in Bath where he eventually married in 1790. He was one of the most successful silhouette artists of the period.

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

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. 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

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. 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

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: £90

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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