Francis & Emily Synge

Circa 1845


Emily Frances, born in 1835, and her brother Francis, born two years later in 1837, were the children of the Rev. Edward Synge and his wife Emily, daughter of Sir Richard Steele of Dublin. The couple were married in Cheltenham in November 1834. Three years later Rev Synge resigned from his post in Kincurran and auctioned off the “nearly new” household furniture and effects including a large collection of books as well as farmyard animals at the Glebe House. Both children were born in Ireland and spent their early childhood years there so it’s likely that this silhouette was also taken in Ireland.

Emily is seated on a low stool and is holding a bunch or roses whilst Francis, attired in a dress and pantaloons, is brandishing a toy whip. They are outdoors and in the background can be seen a columned folly on a hill with an aqueduct visible to Francis’s right.

The silhouette has been cut and gilded, the background drawn in pencil with hints of watercolour wash. It is attributed to The Hubard Gallery who are known to have been working in Liverpool during 1845 and so could easily have sailed across to work in Ireland for a few weeks.

The 1861 census reveals that Francis, following in his father’s footsteps, was Curate of All Saints in Huntingdon and was married. Emily, although still only 23, was unmarried and living with her widowed mother in Hastings.

The silhouette is housed in the original bird’s eye maple frame with a gilt slip. The frame has a small area of loss to the veneer on one corner.

Item Ref. 6570

Size: framed, 279 x 373 mm (11 x 14¾")