Silhouettes

Duet of Harpsichords From Edouart's Personal Scrapbook
  • The story of master silhouettist Augustin Edouart is a fascinating one. If you have not read it before, we invite you to take an intermission and go to our Silhouettist Bios page and return here afterwards. You will be delighted you learned about him. You will find the link to the biographies by scrolling to the bottom of this description. (If the description is truncated, please click “See More”).

    A new and exciting discovery surfaced a few years ago from a Parisian bookseller: Edouart’s personal folio of “Scraps” in a book labeled “Animaux”. This is the most exciting Edouart discovery in a century! Mrs. Jackson discovered the duplicate folios in the first decade of the 20th century in Guernsey where Edouart left them. However, it appears that Edouart took this book with him to Calais, France. It was filled with figures of dogs, horses, toys, mythical characters, floral sprays, and on and on. It looks like 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 this 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. The reason for our insistence on mounting and stamping is because these figures are so unusual (although distinctly from Edouart’s hand) that we want to help future generations authenticate them because they can be traced back to Peggy.

    These two young women played a duet in Animaux for more than 175 years! They must have perfected their performance which would be delightful to hear in your home! Seriously, Edouart cut these mirror images of a woman playing the the harpsichords and we thought they should be framed together as if they are playing a duet before a live audience. A few white specks on the figures are the only apologies we can find and those are very minor. We have framed them in a beautifully figured period maple frame that measures 14 ¼” x 10 ½.” The silhouettes from Edouart’s Animaux were cut between 1826 and at least 1845.

    #6157    $1750

    References:

    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.