Woof, woof!

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 the Duchess of York who commissioned portraits of her beloved dogs. The work was, however, time-consuming and so failed to be cost-effective. But all was not lost, as Edouart discovered that 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 many 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 in which he would often include the family dog amongst other small props from children’s toys to pieces of furniture. Like many artists, Edouart kept scrapbooks of practice and experimental cuttings and it is one of these scrapbooks that, having come to light in a Parisian bookshop, has been the source of this unique composition showing a borzoi (or Russian wolfhound) with a playful terrier. The silhouette carries a stamp of authenticity both on the reverse of the silhouette and on the backing board of the frame.

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

Item Ref. 5116

Size: framed, 290 x 340mm (11¼ x 13⅜")