Simple, meticulously executed American hollow cut silhouette of a woman wearing a bonnet or indoor cap for which the artist cut the front with a jagged edge and adding more interest with watercolor or ink used to paint around the bonnet with the front having lace or ruffles and tied with a bow on top. The silhouettist also painted a modest tucker across the front of her neck to tuck into the front of her dress. The eyelash and facial features are expertly and delicately cut. Her paper has toned after spending 300 years against a wood frame back and it is brittle. (Note that the photograph makes the paper look darker than it actually is.) There is some paper loss around the edges but they are hidden by the frame. There are some possible tiny paper chips at the nose and the upper lip but they are miniscule. The paper also has a slight wave but the photograph amplifies it—it is much less noticeable in person. She resides in a period black painted wood frame that is topped with a heavy wire hanger that is squared off, giving it the shape of a big staple. The hanger is fully shown in the photo below of the frame back. The frame was at one time backed by a 19th century German language paper. There are remnants of this paper around the reverse edges of the frame sticks but not the wood back. The German language paper on the back of the frame of an obviously American silhouette makes us think that the silhouette may have been cut in Pennsylvania or Ohio. The frame is of the period, but we have no way of knowing that the frame is original to the silhouette. The fact that the wood backing of the frame does not have the paper attached to it leads us to believe the piece of wood currently on the reverse of the frame is not original—although it is old and well oxidized. We have left the wood on the reverse of the frame but have put a protective, archival sheet of mylar between the paper and frame back. The framed size is 4 ¾” x 6 ¾” with a sight size of 2 5/8” x 3 ¾”.
Provenance: Collection of the late Theodore "Ted" and Alvina Breckel, Oley, PA and Winnetka, IL.; Harvey Art & Antiques, Evanston, IL, 1/10/1987.