Sitting to Attention
Cut by Augustin Edouart
Finding himself exiled in England with a wife and young family to support, Augustin Edouart opened a shop in Cheltenham selling French curios and artificial flowers but the venture was short-lived and a bankruptcy notice was published in May 1826. He had also tried his hand at creating pictures of animals and landscapes out of hair. These found favour with HRH Duchess of York who commissioned portraits of her beloved dogs. The work was, however, time-consuming and so not cost-effective. But all was not lost, as Edouart discovered he had an aptitude for cutting silhouettes and, third time lucky, this venture proved hugely successful. He spent the next fifteen years travelling around the British Isles cutting thousands of profiles including many authors, musicians, politicians and royalty before setting sail to the United States where again he found favour and success.
Although best known for his individual silhouettes of people, Edouart also cut many family conversation pieces often including the family dog. He also kept scrapbooks in which he pasted his practice and experimental cuttings. These scrapbooks and his archive of work were mostly all lost to the sea when Edouart was shipwrecked off the coast of Guernsey in 1829. Some years ago a salvaged scrapbook came to light in a Parisian bookshop and this is the source of this unique cutting of a small dog. The silhouette carries a stamp of authenticity within the frame.
The silhouette is beautifully presented in a period daguerreotype frame (soe loss to the paper on the reverse side as shown) with a small hanging ring.
Item Ref. 5020b
Size: framed, 94 x 83mm