This is a beautiful cut & paste silhouette of a woman with an elaborate bonnet. The gilt embellishment is quite stunning. Although there were a number of 19th century silhouettists who did wonderful gilt embellishment, it is hard to find anything that tops the work of Frith Brothers (they sometimes worked together as Royal Victoria Gallery). Look at the lady’s hands—they have a portrait-like quality to them. She wears an elaborate bonnet with a large, upturned frill to the front and heavily adorned with ribbons and bows. Her pelisse starts with a ruffed collar and drapes towards the shoulders to cover everything to the neckline. Her dress bodice is made of pleats in a V shape at a belt that is set at her natural waist. The enormous gigot or leg-o-mutton sleeves made from yards of fabric that became tighter at the elbow to the wrist. Those enormous sleeves were stuffed with horse-hair or similar material! Imagine how hot those sleeves got during the summer! Excellent condition but for expected toning of the background card. The period, likely original bird’s-eye maple frame measures 9 ¾” x 11”. Circa 1825. From a Houston-area collection.
Please see the Silhouettist Bios page for more information about the Frith Brothers and The Royal Victoria Gallery.