This little silhouette composition is a real piece of American folk art. The silhouette figure is painted (not cut) on a small oval piece of laid paper. The silhouette itself was lovingly added to fabric with embroidery that includes either silk or cotton thread, appliqued fabric, coiled metal thread and sequins. All of these items were used for needlework since King Tut’s day (really, King Tut’s mummy was adorned with “gold sequin-like discs”). Metal thread is found in English embroidery from the Tudor and Stuart periods. This metal thread, sequin use and overall style lead us to date the composition of this piece at circa 1900. It is so cool to think that someone found this circa 1780 silhouette (hopefully an ancestor of the needlework artist) and loved it enough to include it in a special needlework composition. The fabric is shattered (leading me to believe it is silk although we can’t see much of it), cut with rough edges and laid onto a suede paper or card. That card is laid onto another card, cut slightly larger and then drawing a black outline. We love this piece because of its originality and uniqueness. The 19th century gilt frame measures 5 3/4" x 6 1/2" and has expected dings and wear. Sight size is 3 7/8" x 5 5/8" and the oval paper of silhouette measures 1 1/4" x 1 5/8."