Our love of silhouettes led us to love Scherenschnitte (or scissor-cutting) as well. In fact, we might admire this art more than silhouette because the work is so intricate. This detailed cutting is of a shiny black paper with a white background. It depicts a child and adult under two trees and at what appears above a body of water that reflects foliage & flowers from the edge. Texture is brought to the ground area by molding the paper from the rear. The child holds out what is likely a posy of gathered flowers to the adult sitting under the tree. The clothing is not clear on the adult but the girl wears ankle length wide underpants showing under her knee length dress. In accordance with the girl’s clothing, we are dating this to 1860-1880. The entire cutting is 4” x 3.5”. It resides in a circa 1900 walnut frame with gilt liner that measures 8" x 7.5”. The frame glass is beautiful with a long bubble at about 4 o’clock. Scherenschnitte experts in the Guild of American Papercutters have opined that this cutting could be American or Swiss and from the late 1800s. Some of the expert opinions suggest that the man’s hat may indicate that he worked on the railroad in the Pullman sleeping cars. The possibility that the man was a Pullman railroad worker and the fashion of the girl indicate a date of circa 1870.
Please see Scherenschnitte, The Art of Papercutting for more information on this wonderful form of folk art.