If you follow our website or have seen any of Peggy’s talks, you probably know that Augustin Edouart was meticulous about his silhouette art. If you would like a refresher about his story, follow the link below for “Silhouettist Bios” for a summary of why he is one of the most important and prolific silhouette artists in history – it is an incredible story. And, on top of that, a new and exciting discovery surfaced a few years ago from a Parisian bookseller: Edouart’s personal folio of “Scraps” in a book titled “Animaux”. This is the most exciting Edouart discovery in a century! And the dog presented here is one of the totally unique scraps taken from Edouart’s personal folio.
We love Edouart’s figures of sighthounds which he always depicts as the most elegant of dogs. You can see the characteristics of most of the short-haired sighthounds such as Greyhounds, Italian Greyhounds, Pharaoh Hounds and even the Azawakh that recently admitted to AKC. A long lean body, muscular with little fat, long legs, long neck and a long snout with almost no stop between the eyes so that the dog’s eyes are unobstructed and it can see for long distances. Edouart depicted them beautifully. This dog sits with his hind legs tucked up under him, his tail curling out from between his legs (sighthounds are prone to tucking their tails between their legs when standing at ease and sitting), and his head held high. Edouart depicted his long toes, made to grab the ground as he sails along the ground at a run. The back is subtly rippled to depict the spine which correctly can be seen on a well-developed sighthound. This beautiful dog gazes upwards at his owner who treasures him enough to keep him collared.
We framed him in a period, beautifully figured, birds-eye maple frame with our stamps certifying this cutting was removed from Edouart’s scrapbook and is offered from Peggy’s collection. The frame is 8 3/8” x 9 14” and the sight size is 3 7/8” x 4 3/4".
You may recall that over a century ago, Mrs. F. Nevil Jackson discovered the duplicate folios in the first decade of the 20th century in Guernsey where Edouart left them with the Lukis family. The story of “Animaux” is every bit as exciting as the story of the duplicate folios. It appears that Edouart kept his “Animaux” book and took it with him to Calais, France. It was filled with figures of dogs, horses, toys, mythical characters, floral sprays, and on and on. We surmise Edouart used the book to keep figures that he cut to practice unusual forms that he might have been commissioned to add to conversation silhouettes as well as figures that he cut for his own amusement. The book was a treasure trove of incredible pieces. We have been so lucky to acquire more than 200 figures removed from his book. We have sold and will continue to sell these figures, always lightly mounted on acid-free materials, and framed in period maple frames as Edouart would have insisted. The reverse of the mountings are always stamped with a specially made stamp for items from this book and also with Peggy’s collection stamp. We insist on mounting and stamping because these figures are so unusual (although distinctly from Edouart’s hand) that we want to help future generations authenticate them. The silhouettes from Edouart’s “Animaux” were cut between 1826 and at least 1845.
Edouart, Augustin, A Treatise on Silhouette Likenesses, Longman & Co., Paternoster-Row; and J. Bolster, Patrick-Street, Cork, 1835.
Jackson, Mrs. E. Nevill, Silhouettes A History and Dictionary of Artists, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1981 (published as an unabridged republication of Jackson’s Silhouette: Notes and Dictionary, Methuen & Co. Ltd, 1938), at 98-99.
Please see the Silhouettist Bios page for more information about Edouart.