Polka Dots

Manner of Hinton Gibbs


This charming and unusual silhouette has been reverse painted on flat glass using black for the lady’s face, grey for her dress and royal blue for the ribbon on her cap. She wears a high-waisted dress with a polka dot lace fill-in with a ruff collar and a matching polka dot decorated cap tied with a ribbon bow.

A hand-written label on the backing paper names the sitter as Mrs Hanbury and dates the profile to 1820. An additional much faded label adds provenance and reads – ‘Unique painted in colour on flat glass from Hampton Court 1927’.

The silhouette is painted in the manner of Hinton Gibbs who took up the art of painting silhouettes after a career in the militia. He worked from various addresses in London but also toured. He was later joined in the business by his eldest daughter Sarah who, in addition to cutting silhouettes, diversified into Oriental Tinting.

The silhouette is set in the original papier-mâché frame with a floral hanger. The brass surround appears a little mis-shapen though it would seem to have been made like that rather than being damaged and adds to the unique quirkiness of this piece.

Item Ref. 7569

Size: framed, 168 x 134mm (6⅝ x 5¼")

Provenance: Hampton Court, 1927