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THE HISTORY OF SILHOUETTES
. . BY . .
E. NEVILL JACKSON-
All rights reserved
Copyright by E. Nevill Jackson in the United States of America, 19) J.
FAR IN AND OUT, ABOVE, ABOUT, BELOW,
'TIS NOTHING BUT A MAGIC SHADOW SHOW,
PLAY'D IN A BOX WHOSE CANDLE is THE SUN
ROUND WHICH WE PHANTOM FIGURES COMB AND GO.
Fit*fir*l<ft translatim a/ flit Rufyat / Omar Kayyam.
iMONGST my reminiscences of personal belongings and
the charm of old portraiture, none has given me
greater pleasure than the silhouette of bygone days.
The souvenir, sometimes cut by gifted amateurs, was exchanged
amongst friends in my early days as the photograph is to-day.
We had many at Wolterton, our Norfolk home, and the picture
of my grandmother, Lady Orford, and the cuttings of Princess
Elizabeth are amongst my treasured possessions.
I remember Mr. Guest collected silhouettes, and had some
fine examples of the work of Miers (who lived near Exeter
Change), of Rosenberg, and of Field.
Mr. Guest was a very good judge of such things, having,
by many years of collecting, perfected a naturally cultured
sense of art. Like myself, he had learnt much from Mr. Pollard.
Lady Evelyn Cobbold shewed me three silhouettes of Mr.
Cobbold, his father, and his grandfather, all perfect portraits,
and very interesting.
BLACK PROFILE PORTRAITURE, ITS PLACE
IN ART, LITERATURE AND SOCIAL
THE COMING OF THE SILHOUETTE AND
PROCESSES: (i) BRUSHWORK -
PROCESSES: (2) SHADOWGRAPHY AND
MECHANICAL AIDS -
LIST OF SlLHOUETTISTS, MAKERS OF
SILHOUETTE MOUNTS AND OTHERS
CONNECTED WITH THE CRAFT -
PROCESSES: (3) FREEHAND SCISSOR-WORK 47
AUGUST EDOUART AND His BOOK - 59
SCRAP-BOOKS. A ROYAL CUTTER AND
HER WORK - - 73
SILHOUETTE DECORATION ON PORCELAIN
AND GLASS THE SILHOUETTE
THEATRE ------ 81
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Portrait of a Private in an English Regiment Frontispiece
Silhouette Portraits of the Ansley Family - i
Painted in black and orange-red on convex glass
Silver Wedding Anniversary Picture - 16
With portraits and emblems
Captain Robert Conig - 32
Of H.M. 90M Regiment of Infantry
Silhouette Portraits of Members of the Ansley Family - 48
Painted in black and orange-rid tn convex glass
Portrait of Lord Mansfield - - 64
Painted in black and gold tn glass
Silhouette Portrait of a Man 80
Painted in black and gold on glass
Silhouette Portrait of a Lady
Illustrations in Monochrome
- I to LXXII
iT has not been easy to gather up the threads of history
concerning an art and handicraft long fallen into
desuetude. Amongst the few who still work at black
profile portraiture, none has been found who is
cognisant of the traditions, nor who has any knowledge of the
complex processes by means of which the fine eighteenth-century
work was accomplished.
My sincere thanks are due to Mrs. Head, Mrs. Whitmore,
Madame Nossof, Mrs. Wadmore, Mrs. Lea Carson (of Philadelphia),
Mrs. Whetridge, Mr. Francis Wellesley, Mr. H. Palmer,
Mr. Desmond Coke, Mr. Holworthy, Captain Pringle, Mr. H.
Terrell (of Boston), Mr. Laurence Park, Dr. Beetham (descendant
of Mrs. Beetham, the fine eighteenth-century silhouettist),
Mr. J. A. Field, for the interesting series of portraits painted
by his great-grandfather, and many others, who, possessing
silhouettes, have allowed me to visit and make a study of their
collections or have sent specimens for examination. Without
their courtesy, and that of many others who gave me facilities
for studying some thousands of specimens and advertisements,
it would have been impossible to write this book. A subject
on which there exists no written history, and which has hitherto
received scant attention, requires much research amongst a large
number of examples, amongst old newspaper matter, contemporary
social history, and the trade labels of the silhouettists, for its
More especially I am grateful to those who have kindly
permitted me to reproduce their silhouettes, thus making clear
to art lovers, and those who take pleasure in the curio, how
manifold are the charms of family treasure, which would not
otherwise have been available for study. To . Herr Julius
Leisching, Director Erzerzog Rainer Museum, I am indebted
for information concerning silhouettists of Germany and Austria
contained in his memorandums of the Industrial Museum ;
to Sir Sidney Colvin, Keeper of the Prints in the British
Museum ; to Mr. C. J. Holmes, Director of the National
Portrait Gallery ; to Mr. T. Corsan Morton, of the National
Galleries of Scotland ; to Mr. D. E. Roberts, of the Library of
Congress, Washington, for access to special collections ; to
Mr. Horace Cox and Mr. T. P. O'Connor, with regard to
pictures under their control in the " Collector " and the Magazine ;
to Lady Dorothy Nevill, for placing at my disposal the beautiful
silhouette work of Princess Elizabeth, daughter of George III. ;
to Lady Sackville, for allowing me to study the silhouettes of
Knole, and to reproduce some of the silhouette porcelain in her
If fresh interest is kindled in the graceful art of the sil-
houettist, and the names of some little known artists are rescued
from oblivion, my pleasant task will not have been in vain.
Perhaps those who read these pages will find a charm and wist-
fulness in the shadow portrait. Beauty is not alone recorded
by the brush of great artists, but also by minor workers.
Gainsborough painted portraits of beautiful women at Bath, and
Charles and Spornberg worked at their shades in the same
street ; the same clients visited both studios. The silhouette,
poor relation of the miniature, the forerunner of Daguerre, shows
the Belle of Cheltenham, or the Dandy of Bath and the Wells,
appealing and dainty in shadowland, while the laughter of the
shadow children echoes ghost-like as we note their toys and
sports; they flit across the pages, they cast a shadow, and are
gone. - . , E j
Oak Lodge, Sidcup.
BLACK PROFILE PORTRAITURE : ITS PLACE IN ART, LITERATURE,
AND SOCIAL LIFE.
in black profile join hands round the wine-
cups and oil-jars made by Etruscan potters; in sil-
houette men are armed to battle, women weave cloth
and grind corn, children play at ball and knuckle-
bones, life-like in shadow.
There is a pageant of profile portraiture on the mummy cases
and frescoed tombs of ancient Egypt. Strange peoples are
shown in outline as they lived ; they go to war, they marry,
their children play, the ritual of their Book of the Dead is
pictured in profile three thousand years before the Christian era.
These flat and unsubstantial ghost figures come to us down
the ages. From those mystic times when Crates of Sicyon,
Philocles of Egypt, and Cleanthes of Corinth first worked in
monochrome, there is an unbroken tale of men and women who
have lived, loved, hated, and triumphed Pharaohs and their
slaves, Greek gods, and athletes ; a French king, a murdered
queen ; Napoleon and his generals ; statesmen and politicians ;
Goethe, Beethoven, Burns, Wellington, Dickens, Washington,
Harrison, Scott, and ten thousand others down to the present
day. They come as colourless ghosts, relics of bygone men and
women, shadows caught and held, while the realities have flitted
across life's stage and vanished.
Old Omar Khayam, "King of the Wise," in the twelfth
" We are no other than a moving row
Of magic shadow shapes that come and go
Round with the sun, illumined lantern held
In midnight by the master of the show."
4 The History of Silhouettes
He had not been busied with winning knowledge without seeing
the deep significance of the shadow portrait. The familiar figure
of the showman whose lantern displays the black moving figures
in the midnight streets of Teheran appealed to him with vital
force. He uses the shadow picture constantly as a simile in his
" Heav'n but the vision of fulfilled desire,
And hell the shadow from a soul on fire,
Cast on the darkness into which ourselves
So late emerged from, shall so soon expire."
The subtle appeal of the silhouette is inevitably associated with
death, in its legendary origin. Filled with joyous anticipation,
thrilling with the thought of the woman he would soon hold in
his arms, a lover returned after a short absence to find that his
betrothed was dead ; he rushed into the death chamber, maddened
with grief, to look his last on the face of his beloved before it
should be hidden from him for ever. There on the wall the
shadow of the dead woman's features appeared in perfect outline,
for a taper at the head of the bier cast the shadow. With
reverent hand the man traced the portrait, which he believed to
have been specially sent as consolation.
There are other variants of the story. The Greek legend
attributes the invention of painting to the daughter of Dibutades.
Knowing that the passion of her lover was waning, she furtively
sketched his shadow on the wall as he stood with the sun behind
him. We are not told if this delicate way of indicating that
even a shadow outline can be made permanent by a sufficiently
determined young woman was of any use in making the love
of the inconstant swain indelible.
Many artists have illustrated different phases of the basic idea
as to the shadow having first suggested portraiture. Le Brunyn,
Schenan, B. West, R.A., and Mulready are some of them.
We make no apology for studying the history of this art of
Black Profile Portraiture. 5
the silhouettist in its latter-day manifestations. At its best,
black profile portraiture is a thing of real beauty, almost worthy
to take its place with the best miniature painting ; at its worst,
it is a quaintly appealing handicraft, revealing the fashions and
foibles, the intimate domestic life and conventions of its day.
It was executed by so many distinguished amateurs, from
Etienne de Silhouette himself to Queen Charlotte and Princess
Elizabeth of England, that few social histories or collections of
letters of the eighteenth century fail to show how its strange
chequer fitted into the fashionable life of the period.
Surely it is high time the art of black profile portraiture had
a. historian of its own and the great masters of silhouette por-
traiture were rescued from oblivion. Shadows are impalpable
things which fade away almost before we are aware of their
Year by year accident and the ravages of time lessen the
number of these fragile curios ; the beautiful portraits on ivory
and glass, being the most fragile, are the first to go. Already it
is not easy to find good examples in their original frames
complete with convex glass and trade label of the artist pasted on
the back. Mutilated examples with cracked wax filling or plaster
paintings, chipped and incomplete, are still to be found ; but
even these have often been reframed, or have been broken open
to renew glass or back, and so the trade label has been lost.
The searcher who hopes to be successful in his quest has now
to go very far afield, unless he be satisfied with the paper pictures
of indifferent quality, interesting perhaps on account of the
identity of the sitter or the fame of the cutter, but very far from
equalling in beauty the best work of the masters in black profile
portraiture. Some enthusiasts maintain that the least artistic
profile shadow portrait has a curious individuality which redeems
it from overwhelming ugliness ; certainly the infinite variety of
6 The History of Silhouettes
the processes and the fresh and vigorous outlines in unexpected
media give a charm to the portrait in monochrome.
There is no sequence in the production of the different types.
Some of the earliest specimens were cut in paper, for Mrs. Pyburg
is said to have cut out the portraits of William and Mary
in 1699 ; and certainly some of the beauties of Versailles were
cut by Gonard in paper ; the mid-Victorians worked in paper,
and there are still a few cutters busy with their scissors. Glass,
ivory, and plaster, oil-painting, smoke-staining, and Indian ink,
all were used one by one or together. There is no evolution and
gradual development to trace in the art and craft of the sil-
houettist ; the pictures come before us like the shadows that they
are, each process appearing and disappearing. Sometimes the
same man worked in half a dozen different processes, using now
one and now another, according to the taste or purse of the
sitter, or guided by his own judgment as to the suitability of
his subject for this or that medium of expression. The miniature
shades for mounting in rings, brooches, scarf-pins, and pendants
were not done exclusively by a few men, as one might surmise
from their rarity ; they were painted with the delicacy of a
miniaturist by many of the silhouettists, who usually painted
silhouettes of ordinary size. These jewel shadows are now very
difficult to find, and it is probable no such collection as that of
the late Mr. Montague Guest will ever come into the market
Into the lives of great personages, such as Goethe, Napoleon,
our English kings, queens, and princesses, the silhouette creeps
with colourless persistence ; there is no escaping it. Goethe
writes letters to his mother, and to Lavater, being touched
with enthusiasm for the silhouette and its uses by the zealous
Zurich minister. The poet cut a few himself. Napoleon presents
glass profile portraits of himself in black on gold tinsel ground to
Black Profile Portraiture 7
his generals. Princess Elizabeth, daughter of George III., is a
famous scissor-woman, and many are the pictures she cut, not
only of her father, mother, and sisters, but also of trees, birds
and flowers, rural scenes, cupids, and cupid groups.
Fanny Burney delights in the black portraits ; all the
Burney family are grouped together. She records her visits
to the silhouettist Charles, when her attendance on the Queen
as Maid of Honour was over. This portrait shows the famous
creator of " Evelina " to be sprightly indeed ; her delicate profile
is well set off with curled and powdered hair, lace ruffle, and
beribboned hat, whose tilt must surely have been learnt at
Pepys lived too early to have his shadow taken. We feel
sure the old coxcomb would have had a dozen of himself, mighty
fine in new clothes, and perchance, if in generous mood, a
single one of his wife in her old ones. [My father's profile, cut
in paper, is spoken of by Bulwer Lytton in " The Caxtons," in
the second volume.]
Horace Walpole, in his letter to Sir Horace Mann, written
in 1761, desires him to thank the Duchess of Grafton on his
behalf for the ddcoupure of herself, this being, he explains in a
note, " her figure cut out in card by M. Herbert, of Geneva,
who was famous in that art." This allusion at- this early date
again indicates that the cut silhouette was the earliest, as it
certainly is the last survival, of the art. The scissor-type, it is
still called by the old inhabitants of Suffolk, who well remember
the visits of the itinerant artists.
Strange confusion has arisen in the minds of many admirers
of silhouettes on account of the name. Black profile portraiture
was practised long before Etienne de Silhouette economised
in the public finance department of Louis XV., and the wits of
the day nicknamed "silhouette" whatever was cheap and common.
8 The History of Silhouettes
In Swift's " Miscellanies," ed. 1745, vol. x., page 204, is a whole
series of poems (full of the most eccentric rhymes) on silhouette
portraits, e.g. :
" On Dan Jackson's Picture Cut in Paper."
" To fair Lady Betty Dan sat for his Picture,
And defy'd her to draw him so oft as he piqu'd her.
He knew she'd no Pencil or Colouring by her,
And therefore he thought he might safely defy her.
Come sit, says my Lady, then whips out her Scissar,
And cuts out his Coxcomb in Silk in a trice, Sir.
Dan sat with Attention, and saw with Surprize
How she lengthen'd his Chin, how she hollow'd his Eyes,
But flattered himself with a secret Conceit
That his thin leathern (sic) Jaws all her art would defeat.
Lady Betty observ'd it, then pulls out a Pin
And varies the Grain of the Stuff to his Grin ;
And to make roasted Silk to resemble his raw-bone
She rais'd up a Thread to the jett of his Jaw-bone,
Till at length in exactest Proportion he rose
From the Crown of his Head to the Arch of his Nose.
And if Lady Betty had drawn him with Wig and all,
Tis certain the Copy'd out-done the Original.
Well, that's but my Outside, says Dan with a Vapour ;
Say you so? says my Lady;. I've lin'd it with Paper."
Swift, " Miscellanies',' vol. x., /. 205.
" Clarissa draws her Scissars from the Case,
To draw the Lines of poor D n J n's Face.
One sloping Cut made Forehead, Nose, and Chin,
A Nick produc'd a Mouth and made him grin,
Such as in Taylor's measure you have seen.
But still were wanting his Grimalkin Eyes,
For which grey Worsted-Stocking Paint supplies
Th' unravell'd Thread thro 1 Needle's Eye convey'd,
Transferr'd itself into his past-board Head.
How came the Scissars to be thus out-done ?
The Needle had an Eye, and they had none.
O wond'rous Force of Art ! now look at Dan
You'd swear the Past-board was the better man.
The Dev'l, says he, the Head is not so full
Indeed it is, behold the Paper Skull." THO. S D, Sculp.
S/ack Profile Portraiture 9
Swift, " Miscellanies" vol. x., p. 206.
" Dan's evil Genius in a Trice
Had strip'd him of his Coin at Dice ;
Chloe observing this Disgrace,
On Pain cut out his rueful Face.
By G , says Dan, 'tis very hard,
Cut out at Dice, cut out at Card!"
G. R D, Sculp.
Now, Swift died in 1745, and may be said to have died to
literature some years earlier. Silhouette's cheese-paring economy
was, we are told, induced by the deficit entailed " by the ruinous
war of 1756," consequently it could not have been before 1760
that his name would have become synonymous with cheapness.
We thus have evidence that the art was in use at the least
twenty years before his name could have been applied to it ; and
it does not at all appear that it was new then, as Mrs. Pyburg
cut William and Mary's portrait out of black paper in 1699.
This nomenclature must, therefore, have been caused by
his adoption of it as a pastime, and not by the reason
given by I. D'Israeli and the Diet. Hist. This is an
instance of how easily false derivations may be published even
within so short a time of the events for which they profess to
A very slight study of silhouettes shows how characteristic
is the pose of many of the old black profile portraits. In
the shadow of George III., do we not see the embodiment
of Lord Rosebery's inimitable description, " the German
Princelet of his day," and in Pitt's silhouette, with its "damned
long, obstinate upper lip," as his royal master so vigorously
described it, there is the very ego of the man who was premier
Goethe's letters to his mother are full of allusions to the
io The History of Silhouettes
novel portraiture which had been brought to his notice by
Lavater, the Zurich divine, whose essay on Physiognomy, written
for the promotion of the knowledge and love of mankind, is
still read in Germany. The edition of 1794 is before us, and
shows hundreds of silhouette drawings, for he wrote of the
importance of reading character from people's faces, and used
the silhouette for this purpose. Thus the shadow portrait,
once the amusement of amateurs, now began to have scientific
Goethe testifies that Lavater wished all the world to
co-operate with him, and he arrived at Goethe's house on June
23rd, 1774, not only to take portraits of the young genius, but
also of his parents. A year later Goethe implores Lavater in a
letter, " I beg you will destroy the family picture of us ; it is
frightful. You do credit neither to yourself nor us. Get my
father's cut out and use him as a vignette, for he is good.
You can do what you like with my head too, but my mother
must not stand there like that ! "
An amusing sequel to this is that when, in the third volume
of the " Physiognomy," the councillor's portrait appeared, but not
that of Goethe's mother, she was much annoyed, and said
that Lavater evidently did not think her face worthy to
appear. The matter rankled, for in 1807 she had her head
examined by Dr. Gall, " to find out if the great qualities of
her son had, by any chance, been passed on to her."
This much discussed silhouette of Goethe's mother is
illustrated in " Goethe's Mother," by Dr. Karl Heinemann, and
fuller accounts of the poet's attitude towards the silhouettists
of his day, and the instructive and exciting deductions from
their work, will be found further on in our volume.
In a letter from Fraulein von Gochhausen to Frau Rath we
use the translation of Mr. A. S. Gibb the delight in the novel
Black Profile Portraiture IJ
portraiture is shown, and incidentally the vivacity of the
"WEIMAR, the 2jth December, 1781.
" I am sure, dearest mother, that you in your life have had many and varied
joys ; but whether you know any such joy as you have given me on Christmas
Day, at least I wish it you ! Your silhouette, so like ! of such an excellent, dear,
beloved woman ! in such a costly, pretty, and stylish setting ; and your letter
O your dear letter! could I only say how indescribably admirable the letter is!
Enough, dearest mother : from all my exclamations there is, alas, nothing further
to be learned than that I am half out of my wits with excessive joy. The
first day Goethe had much to bear from me, for I almost ate him up. By
monstrous good luck there was on that joyous day a grand dinner at the
Duchess's, and nearly half the town was assembled. I could, therefore, produce
at once my splendid present (which will not so soon come off my so-called
swan-like neck) ; and there was a questioning and a glancing at the beautiful
novelty, and I was thoroughly wild, and people thought I must have had a gift
of clear quicksilver.*
" Dearest woman, how shall I thank you ! how ever deserve so much good-
ness so without all desert and worthiness on my part ! In return, I can, alas !
do nothing, except to go on in my old jog-trot love, honour, and obey you my
life long. Amen! " L. GOCHHAUSEN."
Later the craft of the silhouettist fell into disrepute when
it had become part of the curriculum of young ladies' schools;
unskilful artists itinerated, pursuing their craft in booths and
at fairs one in the Thames Tunnel, several on the Chain Pier
at Brighton. At street corners magic figures, with concealed
workers, were used to entice the unwilling with mystery. Even
Sam Weller, in his inimitable letter to Mary, laughs at the
methods of the "profeel macheen."
" So I take the privilidge of the day, Mary, my dear as the gen'l'm'n in
difficulties did ven he valked out of a Sunday to tell you that the first and only
time I see you your likeness was took on my hart in much quicker time and
brighter colours than ever a likeness was took by the profeel macheen (wich
p'raps you may have heerd on, Mary, my dear), altho' it does finish a portrait
and put the frame and glass on complete, with a hook on the end to hang it
up by, and all in two minutes and a quarter."
* This seems a strange expression ; but at that time, when anyone showed a restless activity, they would
say that someone had given them quicksilver.
12 The History of Silhouettes
Such is the story, in brief, of the silhouette. Sometimes
we see in it a little social document, elevated by fortuitous
circumstances or scarcity of other pictorial record to historical
value. As in the case of Robert Burns's portrait, by J. Miers,
and that of his brother, Gilbert Burns, by Howie, in the
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, at all times it is passively
charming. Surely we need not scorn this step-sister of photo-
graphy this poor relation of the art world. In the words of
Seraphim, when, in 1771, he flung wide the doors of his Shadow
Theatre at Versailles
" Venez ganpons, venez fillettes,
Voir Momus a la silhouette ;
Ou, chez Seraphim venez voir
La belle Lumeur en habit noir,
Tandes que ma salle est bien sombre
Et que mon a cleur n'est que 1'ombre,
Puisse messieurs votre gaite"
Devenir la r<aliteV'
THE COMING OF THE SILHOUETTE AND ITS PASSING.
jHERE is a simplicity in the silhouette picture which
brings it nearer to the Japanese print in its effect
upon the mind than any other expression in art.
All our attention is concentrated on outline, and in
consequence there is a directness and vigour in the likeness
which are lacking in more complex studies. Some Japanese
artists, recognising this peculiar quality in the black profile
portrait, supplement a conventionally drawn coloured portrait
with a silhouette.
In Europe, during the last decade of the eighteenth century,
the time was ripe for some popular outlet for the newly awakened
interest in the old Greek classical method, for the recently
excavated wonders revealed at Passtum and Pompeii had appealed
strongly to the popular taste, causing Greek purity of line and
simplicity to dominate all ornament.
There was a natural rebound towards simplicity after the
over-gorgeous detail in all domestic decoration under Le Roi
Soleil, though exuberance survived for many years ; the Greek
influence may be traced from the latter half of the eighteenth
century. Gradually the rococo absurdities disappeared ; purity
of line came back to architecture, and was manifested in furniture,
in damask, brocade, and all ornamental expression, until at
the beginning of the nineteenth century the mode in building
design, decoration and dress was of the First Empire, and that
is pure Greek.
The silhouette was another answer to the demand which gave
us the reliefs after the antique which Flaxman and Josiah
14 The History of Silhouettes
At first these paper portraits must have seemed grotesquely
cheap and ineffective to men to whom portraiture had hitherto
meant a painting on canvas or panel, a delicate miniature, or
an enamel of Limoges ; but economy was in the air, the palmy
days of reckless expenditure on personal matters by the few were
over. Marie Antoinette was soon to wear India muslin instead
of costly hand-made lace very soon she might not even wear
her own head ; the gorgeously painted equipages of the Martin
Brothers would give way to the less costly tumbrils. The days
of fustian and the proletariat were coming; paper portraits instead
of painting ; then the apothecary picture-man, as Ruskin calls the
The silhouette was the pioneer of cheap portraiture, which is
now so great a factor in modern life. No wonder that, like all
pioneers, the shadow portrait was made the butt of the wits.
Born in France, flourishing greatly in Germany, the silhouette
soon reached England, and penetrated to the middle class, through
the upper classes and court circles, the first English cut portrait
that we can find record of being the cut silhouette of William
and Mary in 1699. Then, while such men as Gonard were
working in France, some of our best English exponents came
to the fore. Miers, first of Leeds, then of London, painted
generally in unrelieved black on plaster or ivory ; John Field,
his partner for thirty-five years, whose studio was thronged at
u, Strand, close to the old Northumberland House, which
has now given way to Northumberland Avenue. Mrs. Beetham
painted in shadowgraphy with exquisite skill, some of her jewel
portraits rivalling the finest miniatures in quality. Charles,
of 130, Strand, worked in Indian ink with pen on card, and
produced such beautiful work that his trade description, " the
first Profilist in England," may well be excused.
It is interesting to note the very varied nomenclature of this art
The Coming and Passing 15
of black profile portraiture. H. Gibb and many others, besides
Charles, call themselves Profilists.
Skiagraphy is used early.
The fashionable Shade is mentioned by half a dozen diarists
and social writers of the eighteenth century, and was in more
common use early in the nineteenth century. Horace Walpole
gives us D&coupure. Scissargraphist is used by Haines, of
Brighton ; in rural districts in Suffolk silhouettes are still called
Scissartypes, quite regardless of whether the picture is of cut
black paper or done with brush or pencil. Hubard, of
Kensington and American fame, calls himself a Papyrologist \
and his art that of Papyrolomia. In the Art Journal, 1853,
p. 140, we read Papyrogra^hy is the title given to the art of
cutting pictures in black paper.
Shadowgraphy was frequently used by the artists who took
the portrait in shadow with or without the patent chair and
wax candle so carefully described by Lavater, while some
silhouettists are content to describe themselves as artists.
It was August Edouart, the Frenchman, who, wishing to
emphasize the superiority of his methods over the machine-made
shadows of his day, first used the words silhouette and silhouettist,
or silhouetteur, in England. So great a novelty were these
names that Edouart relates in his treatise how visitors
constantly came to his salon to obtain the new silhouette
portrait, and retired disappointed when they found it was only
the familiar black shade which was offered to them.
Not only has there been much confusion in the popular mind
with regard to the name of the silhouette, but also on account of
the many different processes, and mixture of processes, used
in their execution. Many silhouettists, as we have said,
used several different ways of gaining the desired result. Mrs.
Beetham, for example, painted exquisitely on ivory and plaster,
1 6 The History of Silhouettes
with and without gold ; she also cut out black paper, pasted
it on card, and finished the edges with softening lines of paint
on the background. This artist also painted on plaster and
also on glass, so that very considerable study is required in
order to judge unsigned examples.
Occasionally the whole process in silhouette cutting is
reversed, and not only is a white paper portrait mounted on
black, as in Mrs. Leigh Hunt's silhouette of Byron, but the
portrait is cut as a hole in a sheet of paper, and, on placing
black paper, silk, or velvet at the back, the portrait outline is
seen. The author owns an interesting silhouette locket in this
manner, but examples are rare in England, though there are
several at the Congressional Library at Washington.
Shadow portraits began to receive popular attention about
1770. At this date a picture was painted by J. C. Schenan
(1740-1806), who also worked under the name of Johann
The picture, which was extremely popular, was called
" L'Origine de la peinture 1 ou les portraits a la mode." This showed
a modern version of the old Greek legend. A lady, in a modish
cap and deshabille, is having her shade outlined by a youth who
holds a paper against the wall. This is the first hint at the
movable picture which can be executed in one place and hung
elsewhere ; hitherto the wall or ground itself has been in place
of the canvas. Two children are in the foreground, one holds
up the cat while the other wields the pencil ; another child
makes a rabbit shadow with his fingers. Against the wall are
many shadow pictures, all life-size, including one of a man, a
dog, and a donkey. The dedication of the engraving of this
picture runs thus : " Dedie"e a Son Altesse Serenissime Mon-
seigneur le Prince Paladin du Rhin Due regnant des Deux
SILVER WEDDING ANNIVERSARY PICTURE WITH PORTRAITS AND EMBLEMS.
In the possession of the Author.
The Coming and Passing i?
A century before, Frances Chauveau engraved a picture by
C. le Brunyn which shows the traces of a shadow portrait
on the wall. The figures are in classical dress the woman
steadies her subject with one hand while she pencils the shadow
with the other. A winged love superintends the process.
The popularity of such pictures was easily accounted for.
Those whose accuracy of vision and skill of hand were
insufficient to achieve the fashionable freehand scissor-work, saw
in this tracing method an easy way of making the black profile
The tracing of shadow pictures was considered to be of
Greek origin, and the enthusiasm for any art of Greek origin
was assured, and the amateurs prospered.
The inevitable book of instruction for amateurs appeared in
1779 in Germany, " Directions for silhouette drawing, and the
art of reducing them, together with an introduction dealing
with their physiognomical use." It must be remembered,
in its early days silhouetting was supposed to be the handmaid
of scientific research, and it was very many years before the
artists in black portraiture threw off this pose in connection
with their work. This book is published by Romhild, Leipzig.
Another little book of 258 pages, with eleven copper-plate
illustrations, is now very rare, dated 1780; it was published by
Philip Heinrich Perrenon, bookseller, of Mtinster. Rules are
given, advice as to materials, the reduction of portraits, their
finish, ornamentation, etc. Processes on glass, in relief, etc.,
Pantographs and other mechanical processes were invented,
the names of such things varying from the high-sounding
parallelogrammum delineatorium to the "monkey" indispensable
for silhouette artists. Other books are described more fully in
our chapters on the processes.
1 8 The History of Silhouettes
The silhouette mania affected the engravers of the day; black
portraits in copper-plate appeared, and were used to illustrate
histories and biographies. Also domestic scenes, with elaborate
backgrounds, such as the death of the Empress Marie
Theresa, which occurred in 1780. This was to be had of
Loeschen Kohl, of Vienna, in the High Market, No. 488. It
appeared in "An Almanack for the year 1786," with fifty-three
silhouettes, published by Loeschen Kohl.
Large engraved silhouette pictures also appeared, and were
sold separately, such as the Festivity on the Prater. Another
variety now in the Hohenzollern Museum in Berlin shows
Friedrich Wilhelm II., with his wife, four sons, and three
daughters, walking in a garden. This picture is painted on
glass, and is mounted on a red ground. Later, August Edouart
achieved elaborate pictures, such as a skirmish of cavalry or
sports. His figures were entirely scissor-work and extra-
ordinarily clever. The black portraits were mounted on drawn
or lithographed backgrounds.
Many English books of a biographical nature were entirely
illustrated with portraits in silhouette, notably, "The Warrington
Worthies," by James Kendrick, M.D., published in 1854 by
Longman Brown, London ; " Hints, designed to promote Bene-
ficence, Temperance, and Medical Science," by J. C. Lettsom,
published in 1801, by J. Mawman. In the second volume
of this work there are nine fine silhouette portraits.
In the memoir of Hannah Kilham, by her daughter-in-law,
published by Darton Harvey, London, 1837, there is a
beautiful silhouette portrait. Field, of the firm of Miers & Field,
notifies on his trade label that he cuts silhouettes suitable for
" frontispieces in literary work."
In the porcelain factories of England and Germany silhouette
pictures were used for the ornamentation of gift-pieces, and also
The Coming and Passing ! 9
for souvenir examples. In connection with such factories we
may mention that a cup was made on which Dr. Wall, of
Worcester fame, is painted in silhouette, and at the museum
belonging to the Meissen factory, sixteen miles from Dresden,
there is a portrait of Johannis Joachim Kandler, born 1706, King's
Court Commissioner and model master at the Royal porcelain
factory. Rare and interesting specimens of silhouette porcelain
are dealt with in a separate chapter. In glass, too, silhouette
portraits were etched in gold leaf and in black on glass, which
was then enclosed in another transparent layer of glass for
The taste for the silhouette spread its glamour over many
arts ; it became vitiated on account of unskilled and inartistic
work, and may be said to have fallen into disrepute in the early
days of Queen Victoria.
It was then that the art of Miers and Field, Gibb and
Charles, fell into the hands of unworthy exponents, whose works
partake of the ineptitude of so much of the early Victorian art.
There are silhouette portraits of the second quarter of the
nineteenth century and later, which are amusing because of their
vitality, interesting because of the people whom they portray, or
because of a quaint bygone fashion ; but with the exception of
the work of Edouart, which stands alone on account of its
superb technique, they are as a rule no longer examples which
connoisseurs sincerely admire for their beauty. On the production
of the real treasures of black portraiture the curtain was rung
down about 1850. At that date the pageant of shadow pictures
since the days of black outline on Etruscan vases ceased to be
hauntingly beautiful, mystic, alluring ; its subtle appeal was over.
JESEARCH regarding the processes by which the
shadow portraiture was produced, results in a baffling
amount of material. Besides the professional
silhouettists, who worked on definite lines of their
own, or who used several of the processes from time to time
according to the wishes of the sitter and the purpose for
which the portrait was intended, there was a very large
number of amateur workers who used any materials that came
to hand and any process or mixture of processes which seemed
good to them for gaining the desired result.
The silhouette portrait produced by the brush on ivory,
card, or plaster is not necessarily the highest type, although
it approaches most nearly to the work of the miniature painter,
for the technique of one or two of the cutters, such as
Edouart, is so fine that it lifts this humbler process on to
the highest plane. Many miniature painters of the eighteenth
century worked alternately in black profile portraiture and
colour. Silhouettes thus done are, in fact, original profile
portraits in monochrome; the process employed for producing
them has nothing to do with scissor or penknife cutting.
Those who know only the picture of more or less shiny
black paper stuck on card by inferior cutters of the early and
mid Victorian era, are apt to consider the silhouette beneath
contempt from the artistic point of view; but the collector who
has studied fine examples, and who knows many processes,
understands that each variety has its special charm, and that
many have an individuality and dignity which raise them to a
very high level.
Processes 2 1
John Miers, whose silhouette of Robert Burns is in the
National Portrait Gallery of Edinburgh, worked at Leeds, and
afterwards had headquarters in the Strand, opposite Exeter
Change, where he was in partnership for many years with John
Field, another silhouettist, whose work is of very fine quality.
On most of Miers' work he is described as " late of Leeds."
His early business label in Leeds is extremely rare. It is on
a fine portrait of a man which lies before us. This is painted
on plaster, and, like nearly all his early work, is untouched
Miers did an enormous amount of work on plaster and
ivory, in the usual 2i to 3 inch oval size, as well as the
inch to half-inch size for mounting in rings, brooches, and pins.
These latter are frequently signed " Miers," sometimes " Miers and
Field." On a fine portrait by Field, during the time of the
partnership with Miers, there is an advertisement on the back ; the
partners set forth the announcement at this period that they
^ " Execute their long approved Profile Likenesses in a superior style of elegance
and with that unequalled degree of accuracy as to retain the most animated
resemblance and character, given in the minute sizes of Rings, Brooches, Lockets,
etc. (Time of Sitting not exceeding five minutes.) Messrs. Miers & Field preserve
all the original shades by which they can at any period furnish copies without
the necessity of sitting again."
In the London Directory of 1792 John Miers' name is first
mentioned as " Profilist and Jeweller, 1 1 1, Strand" ; in 1817, in the
London Directory, "Miers & Son, Profilists and Jewellers"; ten
years later, in Kenfs London Directory, 1827, " Miers & Field,
Profilists and Jewellers " ; and in the London Directory of the
same date, " Profile Painters and Jewellers."
Miers is frequently called the Cosway of silhouettists. This
name is correctly suggestive in a double sense, for not only
was he amongst the most charming and successful exponents
of his art, as was Cosway, but his methods and brushwork on
22 "The History of Silhouettes
ivory were, with well-defined limitations, identical with those
of the miniaturist.
We are able to reproduce the portrait of John Field, the
partner of Miers, through the courtesy of his great-grandson.
This silhouette was done by himself, and that of his wife is a
companion picture. Portraits also of his two daughters, Sophie,
afterwards Mrs. Webster, and her sister, who married E. J.
Parris, the artist who decorated the dome of St. Paul's, are
amongst an interesting collection belonging to the Field
family. All these are painted on plaster, and beautified with
exquisite pencilling in gold. The muslin cap and dainty neck
frills of the artist's wife are handled with great skill. Field's
shop was next door to Northumberland House, No. n, Strand,
and here he amassed a very substantial fortune. He usually
had several apprentices, both male and female, in his studio,
and his brother being a skilled frame-maker, the Field frames,
in black papier-mach6 and brass mounts, are very dainty, while
the jewel work in gold and pinchbeck is always suitable and
sometimes beautiful. After many years the partnership between
Miers and Field was dissolved, as a cloud seems to have settled
on the life of the former artist, and we have not been able
to find details of his latter years.
Mrs. Beetham also painted in unrelieved black on ivory or
plaster, and connoisseurs are divided in opinion as to whether
her work should not bear the palm instead of that of Miers.
Examples are much more rare. Her label on the portrait of
a woman in cambric stock and ruffle runs thus :
" Profiles in Miniature by
No. 27, Fleet Street
Sometimes Mrs. Beetham cut black paper, and used a little
brushwork in the more delicate hair outlines, softening the hard
paper line. This artist excels not only in the delicacy of her
profile portraits, but also in the way in which she depicts,
with the very limited materials at her command, the texture of
hair, gauze, and ribbon ornaments.
A third process employed by Mrs. Beetham was the painting
on glass of flat or convex shape. The painting was done on
the back of the glass, and usually a backing of wax or plaster
was placed to preserve the portrait. As a consequence of this
filling of wax, many of these old pictures have suffered severely
from extremes of temperature, cold shrinking the wax and causing
disfiguring cracks, and heat, when the portraits were hung on the
chimney wall, as they so frequently were, being no less disastrous.
Occasionally a shade painted on convex glass is found with
a flat composition card or plaster background, upon which,
standing away behind the rounded glass on which the portrait
is painted, a beautiful shadow is cast by the painting.
This is perhaps one of the loveliest embodiments of the
miniature shadow portrait, created independently of all shadow
tracing, for the portrait is simply painted on the inside of a
convex glass; yet the shade is there, dainty, alluring, created
through the workings of one of nature's laws ; the brushwork
becomes of secondary importance, and nature's shadow the
likeness. Rosenberg of Bath (1825-69), whose son was an
associate of the Old Water-Colour Society, was a proficient in
this process. His advertisement is quaintly worded in the
small card found pasted on the back of his framed specimens:
" Begs leave to inform the Nobility
And Gentry that he takes most striking
Likenesses in Profile, which he Paints
On Glass in imitation of Stone.
Prices from Js. 6d. Family pieces,
Whole Lengths in different Attitudes.
N.B. Likenesses for Rings, Lockets,
Trinkets, and Snuff-boxes.'
24 The History of Silhouettes
This unusual allusion to imitation on stone is doubtless
written to attract those who, cognisant of the recent discoveries
in Paestum and Herculaneum, were on the alert for portraiture
in profile and ready to patronise an art which was well in
accordance with the return to Greek feeling in matters artistic.
Another type of glass painting was executed by W. Jorden,
who in 1783 painted the portraits of the Deverell family.
These six fine examples show Thomas Deverell in ribbon-tied
wig and shirt frill, Ann, Caroline, Susan, Elizabeth, and Hester ;
they were formerly in the collection of Mr. Montague Guest,
and were sold for a large price at Christie's. The work of Jorden
differs considerably from the glass painting of other profilists,
as he used flat glass instead of the convex, and his work is
extremely bold and without detail, except in outline. He does
not depend on any shadow casting for his charm in the
work. Examples by Jorden are exceedingly rare.
A. Charles was another profilist of the eighteenth century,
whose work has extraordinary charm. He used Indian ink and
fine line together with the solid black work. Sometimes examples
are to be found where the draperies and dress are in colour.
A good specimen in the original wood oval frame, in the
possession of Mr. Rowson, has a trade label on the back as
" Profiles taken in a new method by A. Charles, No. 1 30, opposite the Lyceum,
Strand. The original miniaturist on glass, and the only one who can take them
in whole length by a pentagraph. They are also worked on paper and ivory, from
2s. 6d. to 4 45. They have long met the approval of the first people and
deemed above comparison.
" N.B. Drawing taught."
Glass portraits were executed with a mixture of carbon made
with pine-soot and beer, which gives an intense blackness. The
process was sometimes inverted, and the flat or convex glass
having been blackened with pine-smoke all over, the outline of
the head or figure was then drawn in with a sharp point and
the blackness removed, except where it served as the filling of
the outlined objects to be silhouetted.
The back of such a portrait was then treated in one of the
several different ways gold leaf or gold tinsel paper was placed
over the back, and was as a rule covered with a thin layer of
wax, so that, looked at from the front, the silhouette portrait
stood out from a gold ground ; or, if the blacking process had
been reversed, the gold portrait showed on a black ground.
Sometimes silver leaf was used instead of gold, and occasion-
ally, as in the Forberger memorial picture in the Wellesley
collection, and in a fine, small example at Knole, both gold
and silver are used in the same picture.
In the Graz Museum in Germany there is a beautiful head
of a youth painted on glass. A pyramid-like building also
figures in the picture, both gold and silver foil being used as
We have seen gold-backed silhouette portraits showing
profiles which, like the old puzzle pictures popular at the same
period, are hard to decipher. Thus an urn is made the central
feature of the picture, but the outline, varying slightly on either
side, gives the profile of a man and his wife. Such quaint
conceits were popular at the time. George III. and Queen
Charlotte, or his successor and Queen Caroline, are sometimes
the subject of such freakish portraiture in silhouette ; this
method in black and white survives to the present day.
The richness of the gold-leaf background made this variation
of the profile portrait especially suitable for jewels. Lockets,
brooches, and pins are the most usual form ; these may be set
in gold or in carved pinchbeck. Occasionally a tiny silhouette
picture is in pearl framing, or an ornamental one of paste.
The silhouette rings are most frequently in the marquise
26 The History of Silhouettes
setting; it was not unusual for a bequest to be made for profile
portrait memorial rings. Occasionally some apt motto was
engraved inside, such as, " II ne reste que 1'ombre." The ethereal
shadow picture seems to have specially appealed to the senti-
mental of the eighteenth century as a suitable reminder after
In the Wellesley collection there is a charming patch-box
with three gold-backed profile portraits set in a row. None
measures more than half an inch across ; the faces are those of
three lovely women. Another example is of a fine silhouette
portrait of somewhat larger size, set in the lid of a small,
round black lacquer snuff-box.
A mirror case was exhibited at the Silhouette Exhibition held
in Maehren, Germany, in 1906, which had, on one side, the
head and shoulders of a woman painted in black on glass.
This was mounted on a yellow ground.
Finer than either of these is a patch-box in ivory, set in
gold, with gold hinges and snap. In the centre is a gold set
profile portrait of a man, signed by Miers ; on either side there
are beautiful panels of blue enamel. Doubtless this was a well-
thought-out gift of a devoted admirer to the lady-love whose
patches were to be held in this artistic box. A tiny oblong
looking-glass is set in the inside of the lid to facilitate the
adjustment of the beauty spots.
It is in work for the embellishment of such dainty things
as these that the art of the profilist touches its highest point
in minute work. Those who had the opportunity of examining
the marvellous collection of the late Mr. Montague Guest can
judge how these rare gems are not only beautiful in themselves,
but speak of the illusive charm of the eighteenth century more
eloquently than many other more costly bibelots.
The dainty sentimentality of a gold ring set with the shadow
of a beautiful woman, or the scarf-pin with the shade of a
friend ; a locket with the unsubstantial reflection of a child's face ;
who can resist the colourless appeal of so unobtrusive a jewel,
which is yet one of such rich association and rare beauty ?
The method most usual for profile portraits in minute size
is the painting with Indian ink on ivory or plaster. We have
seen these as small as a pea, but this is unusual ; they are
generally double that size for rings, or, for lockets and brooches,
J. Miers must have painted many of these jewels. Amongst
the examples we have examined, some are plain black, probably
of early date ; some pencilled with gold. This process we
cannot help surmising to have been a concession on the part
of the artist to the popular demand which came early in the
nineteenth century. In two signed examples, in the possession
of the author, one is plain black a man's head, with tied queue
wig and high stock with ruffle ; the other, a woman exquisitely
pencilled in gold, a lawn cap of Quaker shape on her head, a
folded kerchief crossing her breast. Both are signed.
Authentic examples by Mrs. Beetham are rare, for she seldom
signed her work ; but there is a quality in them which usually
proclaims their authorship. The nervous delicacy of the work
equals that of Miers : the manipulation of accessories excels it
when she is at her best.
These silhouette jewels, of fine quality, are very rare, and are
much sought after. Unfortunately, like so many of our beautiful
and artistic treasures, the boundless wealth of America is
absorbing many good examples. Is it possible that a frame
containing about forty of the finest examples of Field's work
went to America before the collection came up for public
inspection in the auction room, when the Guest collection was
28 The History of Silhouettes
A variant of the shadow portrait, painted on glass, shows
a blue, rose, or green coloured paper or coloured foil taking
the place of the gold or silver leaf ground. A beautiful locket
in the Wellesley collection demonstrates the charm of this
method to perfection. It is probably French.
In a book of instructions for the amateur silhouettists of
Germany, published in Frankfurt and Leipzig by Philip Heinrich
Perrenon, bookseller, of Mlinster, 1780, we are told : " One
can use tinfoil for the ornamentation of silhouettes for hanging.
When the glass is turned round, the places where the tinfoil is
form a sort of mirror. If the background be black and the
portrait the mirror, the effect is pretty, but it is as contrary
to nature as a white shadow. It is best to have the ground of
looking-glass, and to blacken or colour the silhouette."
One of the earliest silhouettists was Franois Gonard, a
Frenchman, whose processes seem to have been very varied.
Unlike most of the early shade-makers, he did not make a
speciality of any particular process. His profile portraits were
painted on ivory and plaster, and were occasionally cut out
in paper and engraved on copper for reproduction ; in fact,
he seems to have practised every kind of profile portraiture.
Born at St. Germain in 1756, he was taught copper
engraving at Rouen, and was specially clever in reducing
copper-plate engravings. In the Manuel de I" amateur cfestampes,
Joubert relates having seen a plan of St. Petersburg engraved
in minute size by Gonard, who had reduced it from one of
much larger size. This brings us to the pantograph.
In Le Journal de Paris, 1788, Le Sieur Gonard, who is
called a dissenateur physionomiste, announces that he is in a
position to take silhouette portraits quicker than any other artist.
He will make these for 24 sols each, but he will not make
less than two for each person. The price of those of minute
size, suitable for mounting, as boxes, lockets, and rings, is
He also announces silhouettes a 1'Anglaise ; these have the dress
and head-dress added, and the price is 6 each, whether they
be on ivory for wearing as an ornament or on paper to be
framed. Whether the paper is scissor-work the profile cut out
of black paper or the black drawing is made on paper, we
are not told. For this latter type a sitting of one minute only
was necessary, and the following day the portrait was finished.
Another process, which he describes as silhouette colorde,
can also be done. These seem to have been more like
miniatures; they cost ,12, and a three-minute sitting was
required. The portrait was finished on the next day but one.
Gonard's address is given as the Palais Royal, under arch
No. 1 66, on the side of the Rue des bons Enfants, and he
describes how a lantern shall be lit each evening to facilitate
the finding of his salon on dark nights. The lantern had
silhouettes on it, as a sign for the footmen bringing carriages.
One cannot help imagining -the scene when gay aristocrats,
with powdered heads and dainty brocades, drove up to have
their pictures taken in the fashionable mode, and beaux, with
lace cravats and wigs, trod the floors of the studio with steps
as firm as they might be three years hence when mounting the
steps of the guillotine. How many of those beauties of the
court of Louis XVI. were left when the terrors of the Revolu-
tion were past? How many of the pathetic little paper shadows
have come down to us, fragile, indeed, but outliving the
doomed originals by a century and a half?
As would be imagined, Gonard used elaborately engraved
mounts to add to the grace of his portraits, and occasionally
he used relief in white, grey, or colour in the execution of
The view that the shadow portrait should remain a shadow
3 The History of Silhouettes
always in black is held by one of the most prolific of all
silhouettists, Edouart, whose work is fully described in the
chapter on Freehand Scissor-work. In deploring the decline of
the public taste for shadow portraiture, he says in his treatise
on Silhouette Likenesses: "As something was wanting to
revive the expiring taste of the public for these black shades,
some of the manufacturers introduced the system of bronzing
the hair and dress. To what species of extravagant harlequinade
this gave rise, the public is sufficiently aware. I cannot avoid
making my observations concerning profile likenesses taken by
patent machines, which possess sometimes all the various
colours of the rainbow : for example, every day there is to be
seen in the shops this kind of profile, with gold hair drawn
on them, coral earrings, blue necklaces, white frills, green dress,
and yellow waistband, etc. Is it not ridiculous to see such
harlequinades? The face, being quite black, forms such a contrast
that everyone looks like a negro ! I cannot understand how
persons can have so bad and, I may say, a childish taste!
Very often those likenesses are brought to me to have copies
made of them, and it is with the greatest trouble I am able
to make them understand that it is quite unnatural ; and that,
taking a silhouette, which is the facsimile of a shade, it is
unnecessary for its effect to bedizen it with colours.
" I would not be surprised that by-and-by those negro
faces will have blue or brown eyes, rosy lips and cheeks ;
which, I am sure, would have a more striking appearance for
those who are fond of such bigarrades.
" It must be observed that the representation of a shade can
only be executed by an outline ; that all that is in dress is
only perceived by the outward delineation ; consequently, all
other inward additions produce a contrary effect of the appear-
ance of a shade.
Processes 3 1
" Here it may be said that every one has not the same
taste ; some like colour which others dislike ; some find ugly
what others find beautiful ; and, in fact, des gouts et colours
ou ne pent pas disputer. But every artist or real connoisseur
will allow with me that when nature is to be imitated, the least
deviation from it destroys what is intended to be represented."
Edouart concludes with some severe remarks. " It is a pity
that artists, in whatever line they profess, should give way to
those fantastic whims, and execute works against all rules ; for
if they would employ their time in proper studies, and try to
show the absurdity of encouraging whatever deviates from the
true line of nature, they would improve themselves, and in
time would derive greater benefit than in executing things
which only bring scorn and ridicule from people of discernment."
Despite the opinion of Edouart, with which most connoisseurs
of the present day heartily agree, much silhouette work was
finished in colour. We have before us a delicately painted
lady of the Early Victorian period. She wears a grey dress
with graceful pleated sleeves, a deep embroidered muslin collar,
and the most bewitching cap tied with blue ribbons. Her
face and hands only are shadow black. The delightful ringlets
of the period are marked in gold, and she is writing in a note-
book with a gold pencil, quite a blue-stocking occupation for
a lady of that period. In the collection of Dr. A. Figdor,
Vienna, there is an elaborate picture of a mother with a young
child on her knee; two elder children and her husband complete
the group. Only the heads in this group are black. Again,
Professor Paul Naumann, of Dresden, owns the silhouette of
a Moor. The clothing is brightly coloured, the head alone
black. Every collector will find he has some examples where
colour has been used to relieve the black of the card, ivory,
or glass painting.
3 2 The History of Silhouettes
It must be remembered that this was the time of glass
pictures of the ordinary coloured type, and this glass painting
Eglomist, as the process is called by the learned Dr. Leisching
would naturally influence the minds of the profile portrait painter
on glass. So it came about that the two allied crafts gradually
overlapped in ideas, and method and points of colour began to
appear in uniform or other parts of the picture where colour
would obviously add interest of a historical or sentimental
character to the silhouette portrait, and in the glass picture of
saint or Bible history. The glaring colours hitherto used to
appeal to the popular taste began to be modified, and examples
are found where the figures are all in black, the background
alone being coloured ; so that the glass picture is to all intents
and purposes a silhouette on a coloured ground.
Of this type is the picture at the Francesco Carolinum
Museum at Linz, where eight musicians in uniform are shown
in black in the chapel. There is a good deal of wreath and
ribbon decoration, and two small curtained windows are in the
An important example of the black glass painting on coloured
ground is the picture on a red ground in the Berlin Museum.
Other red and black silhouette works are owned by Lady Sack-
ville, who has an extraordinarily interesting collection of the
Ansley family, painted by Spornberg in 1793. Each portrait is
signed and dated, the address of the artist, No. 5, Lower Church
Street, Bath, being given on one. These pictures are painted
on convex glass in black; the background, outlines of the face,
dress, hair, and elaborate wigs, caps and hats, together with
the eyes, and slight shading, being painted in black. Over
the whole an orange red paint is then worked in at the back,
so that one sees from the front the red bust figure shown in
black lines on the black background.
Coloured grounds are very rarely found in connection with
English silhouette work. One, in the possession of the author,
is of a boy's head finely painted on ivory ; the background is
tinted blue, the whole mounted in a chased gold locket of the
period, early eighteenth century.
Abroad, especially in Germany, we constantly find coloured
backgrounds and coloured cardboard mounts, with or without
wreaths or other ornamental frames.
In the catalogue of the Silhouette and Miniature Exhibition
held at Briinn from April 22nd to May 2Oth, 1906, there was
much work of the kind :
The silhouette numbered 67. Head and shoulders of a young
man. Silhouette painted on glass on a brown ground. At
the back the letters A. J. L.
No. 77. Round lacquer box with head and shoulders of a
man in silhouette on a yellow ground, gold glass mount.
Owner : R. Blumel, Vienna.
No. 99. Head of an officer, silhouette, painted on glass,
No. 106. Lady walking, silhouette on glass, blue ground.
No. 26. Gentleman sitting at a writing-table, painted on
glass, yellow silk background. French, Louis XVI.
No. 127. Lady sitting at a table, companion picture.
Other silk-mounted pictures are numbered 154.
Elise Herger (n6e V. Pige) and the Countess Chotek, both
painted on glass and mounted on silk.
No. 159. Two female and two male heads, probably
members of the noble family of Belcredi, silhouettes, cut out
of paper and mounted on mother-of-pearl, 1800.
No. 184. In this there is a fresh variety of mounting. The head
and shoulders of a man in painted silhouette, on glass ; this
shows up over white paper. Above this portrait, within the same
34 The History of Silhouettes
frame, is a semicircle of nine female figures in silhouette
over blue foil ; completing the circle is a gold laurel branch.
This example is signed " Fecit Schmid, Vienna, 1796."
Schmid, of Vienna, seems to have constantly used coloured
backgrounds. A fine drawing by him, on glass, of Sophie
Landgravine Fiirstenberg, 1787-1800, is mounted on green; this
was painted in 1800. It is an interesting specimen, as it is
one of the rare examples of silhouette work in which human
hair is used. At the back there is a landscape drawing in
silhouette, on glass. The brook in the sylvan scene is put in
with the waved lines of hair. It is remarkable that Edouart,
who was a skilled worker in human and animal hair before he
was a silhouette cutter, never combined the two crafts.
A strange variant of the dressed picture must be mentioned
in connection with silhouettes where colour and exotic processes
are employed. In four examples in the possession of Dr.
Beetham, descendant of Mrs. Beetham, the fine silhouette painter,
of 27, Fleet Street, the face, hair, arms, hands, and neck
are cut out of black paper. The vase, in the example illustrated,
is also in black, in this case, as in the less rare dressed engravings
of the same period. The dress of the figure is made up of
deftly arranged scraps of material. The head-dress is of spotted
black, outlined by narrow bands of black paper; the bodice and
skirt are of linen, with purple bands ; the outstanding paniers
are of faded scarlet flowered cotton ; the flowers in the vase
are painted, being outlined in gold. There are also dressed
silhouettes in the possession of the Beck family. These
show the Quaker dress in folded material with the black
silhouette. All these examples are probably the work of clever
(2) Shadowgraphy and Mechanical Aids.
to this point we have discussed only those processes
which entail hand drawing with pen, pencil, or brush,
which are undoubtedly an attractive type of the shadow
picture, whether they are executed on ivory, plaster, or
paper ; their backing with wax, gold, or silver leaf tinsel, on
coloured paper makes accidental varieties of the one type.
Any of these processes require a good deal of artistic training,
even if the shade is used as a guide, for unless there is skill
in catching a likeness, or delicacy and charm in drawing,
black portraiture has nothing whatever to recommend it.
However the silhouette is executed, the mechanical appliances
play so important a part in nearly all the processes that they
need a chapter to themselves. In order to popularise the black
portrait, some means of achieving it was required which could
be used by persons without talent or artistic training.
It was here that shadowgraphy came to the fore. Even the
most ignorant in art work could trace a shadow when thrown
upon white paper on a wall or specially made screen, and if
the full life-size were considered too large, the Singe, pantograph,
or other contrivance could reduce its size ; then only scissors were
required, and the silhouette-by-machinery maker felt himself to be
as gifted as the black portrait painter, or the freehand scissor-
cutter, whose work we describe in another chapter.
Etienne de Silhouette, born in 1709, amused himself with
the craze of the day. His craft, belonging essentially to this
section of mechanical execution, deserves special mention, not
36 The History of Silhouettes
because he invented the black profile portrait, for they were
made sixty years before he was born, but because his name was
given to it in derision, and has stuck to it ever since. Being
finance minister, he was supposed to be a promoter of the fine
arts, but such was his economy, or meanness, that artists
styled his paper pictures "portraits a la silhouette," a name
synonymous with paltry effort and cheapness. This did not,
however, deter people from patronising the silhouette artists,
nor of attempting, themselves, to achieve the machine-made
variety of the fashionable black portrait.
In the Journal Officiel, published in Paris, August 29th,
1869, we read: " Le Chateau de Berg sur Marne fut construit
en 1759 par Etienne de Silhouette .... une des principals
distractions de se seigneur consistait a tracer une ligne autour
d'un visage, afin d'en avoir le profil dessine" sur le mur:
plusieurs salles de son chateau avaient les murailles couvertes
de ses sortes de dessins que 1'ou appelle des silhouettes du nom
de leur auteur de nomination que est toujours reste"."
In the seventeenth century, dilettantism was an obsession
with the leisured classes. The tendency of the time towards
Greek art, as has been indicated in another chapter, helped to
popularise the scissor-work of this type of shadow portraiture,
and it became a fashionable craze. Though the cutting out
with scissors and penknife sometimes took the form of land-
scape groups and small whole figures, the profile alone in
small, though not miniature size, proved the most fascinating
branch of scissor-work, and survived the longest in the favour
of amateurs, because the purely mechanical shadow tracing
required no skill, and inevitably gave a life-like likeness if traced
with reasonable care.
There were several methods of securing steadiness on the
part of the sitter and the best result as to arrangement of
candle-light essential to the success of the portrait. Lavater, who
believed so sincerely in the infallibility of the silhouette as an
assistance in his physiognomical studies, gives elaborate directions
as to how to obtain the best results. He says in Lecture
XVI. (we spare our readers the long observations on
" It may be of use to point out the best method of taking
this species of portraits.
"That which has hitherto been pursued is liable to many
inconveniences. The person who wants to have his portrait
drawn is too incommodiously seated to preserve a perfectly
immovable position ; the drawer is obliged to change his place ;
he is in a constrained attitude, which often conceals from him
a part of the shade. The apparatus is neither sufficiently simple
nor sufficiently commodious, and, by some means or other,
derangement must, to a certain degree, be the consequence.
"This will happen when a chair is employed expressly
adapted to this operation, and constructed in such a manner as
to give a steady support to the head and to the whole body.
The shade ought to be reflected on fine paper, well oiled and
very dry, which must be placed behind a glass, perfectly clear
and polished, fixed in the back of the chair. Behind this glass
the designer is seated ; with one hand he lays hold of the
frame, and with the other guides the pencil. The glass, which is
set in a movable frame, may be raised or lowered at pleasure;
both must slope at bottom, and this part of the frame ought
firmly to rest on the shoulder of the person whose silhouette is
going to be taken.
"Toward the middle of the glass, is fixed a bar of wood or
iron furnished with a cushion to serve as a support, and which
the drawer directs as he pleases by means of a handle half an
38 The History of Silhouettes
"Take the assistance of a solar microscope, and you will
succeed still better in catching the outlines ; the design also will
be more correct.
"There are faces which will not allow of the most trifling
alteration in the silhouette, or strengthen or weaken the outline
but a single hair's-breadth, and it is no longer the portrait you
intended ; it is one quite new, and of character essentially
In this work of silhouette-making and physiognomical study,
Lavater wished the whole world to co-operate with him, as
Goethe testified. On a long journey down the Rhine, he had the
portraits taken by his draughtsman, Schmoll, of a great number
of important people. This served the secondary purpose of
interesting his sitters in his work. He also asked artists to
send him drawings for his purpose, and wrote much on the
physiognomical character of the figures in the pictures of such
artists as Raphael and Vandyck.
Goethe was intensely interested, and there is much of his
correspondence extant on the subject. Enthusiastic at first, his
zeal seems to have waned. On June 23rd, 1774, Lavater
arrived at Goethe's house with Schmoll, and portraits were
taken of the author of " The Sorrows of Werther," and of his
A year later, in August, 1775, Goethe writes, imploring
Lavater, " I beg you will destroy the family picture of us ; it is
frightful. You do credit neither to yourself nor to us. Get my
father cut out, and use him as a vignette, for he is good. I do
entreat of you to do this ; you can do what you like with my
head too, but my mother must not be recorded like that."
An amusing sequel to this correspondence is that when the
third volume of Lavater's " Physiognomy " appeared containing
her husband's portrait alone, the councillor's wife was extremely
offended, and says that evidently the author did not think her
face worthy to appear.
A scrap-book full of these machine- and scissor-made
silhouettes, with copious notes made by Lavater on the character
of the sitters, judged by the shadow portraits, is one of the chief
treasures in the collection of Mr. Wellesley, and forms an important
item in silhouette history in its use for scientific purposes.
A machine for the use of amateurs is owned by Dr. Beetham,
descendant of Mrs. Edward Beetham, the clever silhouettist of
Fleet Street. This machine for taking silhouettes is a box
about the size of a cigar box. One end has a lens
glued into a sliding block or frame for focusing purposes. A
piece of looking-glass reflects the object on to a piece of frosted
glass on the top of the box. The subject is drawn from this
There were others besides Lavater who published advice
as to the best way of taking silhouettes.
In " A Detailed Treatise on Silhouettes : their Drawing,
Reduction, Ornamentation and Reproduction," published in 1780,
the author, after many allusions to prisma, cylinder, pyramid,
cone, the sun and moon, and perpendicular and horizontal lines,
gives indispensable rules for the silhouetteur :
1. The surface on which the shadow is made must be
2. It must be parallel with the head of the sitter.
3. The imaginary line running from the centre of the flame
to the middle of the profile must be horizontal with
the surface on which the shadow is to be cast.
4. The light must be as far from the head as possible,
but the surface for drawing on must be as near the
head as possible.
4 The History of Silhouettes
As will be seen from the print taken from Lavater's book,
these rules were fairly accurately carried out in the chair
depicted. Practical hints are also given in the treatise as to
paper, light, pencils, etc. Great stress is laid on the importance
of obtaining paper large enough for the drawing of the
enormous modern head-dress of women, for which, sometimes,
two pieces were put together. We have seen interesting
examples of this, where the paper is actually joined together
with the thin old-fashioned pins of the period, and life-size
heads, executed in black paper, in a country house in Sussex.
" A wax light is better than tallow or suet," this careful
mentor continues, " as there is nothing so harmful as a flare,
which makes the shadow tremble. If one cannot obtain a wax
candle, and must use a lamp, let it be dressed with olive oil.
Coughing, sneezing, or laughing are to be avoided, as such
movements put the shadow out of place."
The reduction of shadow portraits so taken is then described
at length, and by various methods, " as the physiognomical
expression is more piquant in a reduced silhouette." "The best
of these mechanical reducers is the Stork's Beak or Monkey
(this is our present-day pantograph), which consists of two
triangles so joined by hinges that they resemble a movable
square, which is fixed at one point of the base of the drawing,
while a point of the larger triangle follows the outline of the
life-size silhouette. A pencil attached to the smaller triangle
traces the same outline smaller and with perfect accuracy. By
repeating these reductions, silhouettes may be made in brooch
and locket size."
" With regard to the ornamentation and finish of the
silhouette portrait, black paint should be used." We presume
this would be for the fine lines of the hair, which are sometimes
added to the background after paper-cut silhouettes are
Processes 4 1
mounted. Chinese or Indian ink is advised, or pine-soot, mixed
with brandy, gum, or beer.
Advice is also given as to painting round the paper outline :
the paint should be put on from the pencil outline towards the
centre. The anonymous author suggests that two portraits
should be cut at once; the first to be stuck into the family
album, the second to be hung upon the wall.
For such decorative purposes elaborate instructions are given.
"Take a nice clear sun-glass and clean it with powdered
chalk and clean linen to remove all grease and dirt. Cover this
glass on one side with finely powdered white lead mixed with
a little gum-water. When this is dry take the silhouette,
which has been cut out of strong paper, place it on the powdered
surface, and trace round the outline with a needle ; remove the
silhouette, and scrape away all the white within the drawn line.
Thus one obtains a transparent silhouette, which can be turned
into a black one by laying a piece of black velvet at the back
of the glass, or if not velvet, fine black cloth or taffeta or
This silhouette recipe maker also suggests that the cut-out
black silhouettes can be stuck on to the glass with Venetian
turpentine, and the glass then treated with the white covering;
or one can use tinfoil, which forms a mirror.
This brings us back to the background treatment for painted
silhouettes without the aid of shadowgraphy and scissor-work,
so that we need not repeat the various kinds.
In this remarkable book, which is in the possession of
Professor Dr. Th. Slettner (Munich), and for a description of
which we are indebted to Herr Julius Leisching, a further
description of silhouette-making is given : " By sticking together
three or four sheets of paper and working at the back with a
polishing, steel, one can actually make a profile portrait in slight
4 2 The History of Silhouettes
relief out of a cut-out silhouette in white paper, ' giving it the
appearance of a marble tablet or a plaster cast done by a
sculptor/ " adds this enthusiast.
A treatise on this method exists in English, entitled " Papyro-
Plastics ; or the Art of Modelling in Paper, with Directions to
cut, fold, join, and paint the same," with eight plates, published
in the first quarter of the nineteenth century.
Mention is also made of silhouettes in enamel on copper
for snuff-boxes, lockets, and rings, and the black profile portraits
on porcelain in the German volume.
Finally, the author praises a process by which, by means of a
stencil, one can make one hundred copies a minute, and the
reproduction of the silhouette portrait by woodcut and copperplate
A second book appeared simultaneously, if not immediately
before the treatise. It was published by Romhild at Leipzig,
and in the following year (1780) Philip Heinrich Perrenon
brought out a third, which is called " Description of Bon Magic ;
or the Art of Reduplicating Silhouettes easily and surely."
The principal process is one which the author describes as
" so simple that every woman who can make silhouettes can
practise it as well as the best artist."
" Take a piece of flat tin, polish it on one side, put the
drawing on it and cut out the tin accordingly, and the form
is obtained. Rub this form on the side to be printed off on
a flat stone with sand. Damp some paper, and make a black
mixture out of linseed oil and pine-soot. Make a pair of balls
of horsehair covered with sheepskin. Get a small piece of
hat felt. Blacken the shape or form with the black mixture
put on with the horsehair ball ; place it on the table, and
over it, on the blackened side, the damp paper, on this a few
sheets of waste paper and then the felt. Now nothing but the
press is required; this consists of a rolling-pin, which can be
made by any turner. Roll it over, and when the paper is
taken away the silhouette, en Bon Magic, appears printed off."
Illustrations of various implements are given, besides a
simple pantograph for reducing the life-size shadow. Many
pantographs are mentioned in connection with silhouette work.
It is probable the earliest one was invented by Christopher
Scheiner, a Jesuit, at the beginning of the seventeenth century,
and was called the parallelogrammum delineatorium.
We meet it again in England, where mercifully its name
is shortened, and it is interesting to see that it is a woman
who applies for protection of her invention. The abridgment of
her specification runs thus :
Patents for Inventions.
Abridgments of Specifications.
Artists' Instruments and Materials.
A.D. 1775, June 24. No. uoo.
Harrington, Sarah. "A new and curious method of taking and reducing
shadows, with appendages and apparatus never before known or used in the
above art, for the purpose of taking likenesses, furniture, and decorations, either
the internal or external part of rooms, buildings, &c., in miniature." The
person whose likeness is to be taken is placed so "as to procure his or her
shadow to the best advantage, either by the rays of the sun received through
an aperture into a darkened room, or by illuminating the room." The face is
then brought "directly opposite the light, so that the shadow may be reflected
through a glass (or transparent paper) ; " the glass is movable in a frame " so
as to fix it on a level direction with the head of the person." The outline of
the shadow is then traced with a pencil, &c., after which it is " reduced to a
miniature size by an instrument called a pentagrapher."
Respecting furniture, &c., "the articles required to be taken are to be placed
in such a direction that their shadows may be reflected as above described,
traced out in the same manner and reduced." The shadows (as also the likenesses)
are cut out "and placed upon black or other coloured paper or any dark body"
and the external parts are, if required, decorated with cut paper, &c.
44 The History of Silhouettes
When a likeness is to be taken, accompanied with the external "part ol a
room or buildings," a camera obscura is used ; the reflected shadows are received
on paper, the outlines are carefully marked, and then " either fill'd up with Indian
ink or coloured, or cut out as above directed."
[Printed, 4d. No Drawings.]
On December 22nd, 1806, Charles Schmalcalder applied for
a patent for a machine of the same type, but of more compli-
cated construction. We give the abridged specification, for it
forms a humble though important link in silhouette history,
having been much used by itinerant silhouettists at the
beginning of the nineteenth century.
A.D. 1806, December 22. No. 3000.
Schmalcalder, Charles. " A delineator, copier, proportionometer, for the use of
taking, tracing, and cutting out profiles, as also copying and tracing reversely
upon copper, brass, hard wood, cardpaper, paper, asses' skin, ivory, and glass, to
different proportions, directly from nature, landscapes, prospects, or any object
standing or previously placed perpendicularly, as also pictures, drawings, prints,
plans, caricatures, and public characters." This apparatus is composed of (i) a
hollow rod "screw'd together, and from two to twelve feet, or still longer, chiefly
made of copper or brass, sometimes wood, or any metal applicable ; " the diameter
is from half an inch to two inches and upwards, according to the length ; one
end carries a fine steel tracer, made to slide out and in and fastened by a
milled-head screw, and in the other is "a round hole to take up either a steel
point, blacklead pencil, or any other metallic point, which may be fastened
therein by a mill'd-head screw ; " (2) a tube about ten inches long and sufficient
in diameter to allow the rod " to slide easily and without shake in it ; " (3) a
ball (in which the tube is fixed) " moveable between two half sockets ; " (4) a frame
of wood about two and a half or three feet long (the length depending on the length
of the rod) and supported by two brackets ; (5) a swing-board attached to the
frame ; (6) a clamp-screw ; (7) a hook hanging on a string for the rod to rest
in ; (8) a weight on the back of the frame, connected thereto by a hook, " to
which is attached a string forming a pulley, serving to prevent the point from
acting upon the paper when not wanted." Through the sides of the frame are
holes at certain distances corresponding with marks on the rod, and " in copying
any original, supposing to the size of , J, J, f, &c.," the swing-board and clamp-
screw " must be transplanted to the different holes and divisions corresponding."
The paper or other substance is fastened to the swing-board by screws or is
placed in a brass frame which slides up and down the board, and is kept in
position by a spring. " The machine is fixed either to a partition in any room
or to any piece of wood portable, and so constructed as to be easily fixed
upright with a screw-clamp upon a table or any other stand." In turning the
rod round in the sockets " the tracer and point in the two ends of the rod
must remain in the centre, to obtain which sometimes an adjustment with four
screws " is required.
Directions are given for using the apparatus in taking profiles, in copying
and tracing pictures, landscapes, &c., and in copying from nature " landscapes or
whatever object exposes itself to view."
[Printed, 6d. Drawing. See "Repertory of Arts," vol. IO (second series), p. 241 ;
"Rolls Chapel Reports," ;th Report, p. 195.]
Still lower was the- shadow portrait to fall, when another
contrivance was invented to trick the public into the belief that
magic played a part in producing the likeness. An automatic
figure was taken round the country which it was claimed could
draw silhouettes. Somewhere about 1826 the automaton was
brought to Newcastle, and is described as a figure seated in
flowing robes with a style in the right hand, which by machinery
scratched an outline of a profile on card, which the exhibitor
professed to fill up in black. The person whose likeness was to
be taken sat at one side of the figure, near a wall. " One of
our party," says an eye-witness, " detected an opening in the
wall, through which a man's eye was visible. This man, no
doubt, drew the profile, and not the automaton. Ladies' heads
were relieved by pencillings of gold."
The son of the great, little Madame Tussaud, who began
her wax modelling in the -Palais Royal in the days of the
French Revolution, taking death-masks of many of the guillotine
victims, thus advertises in 1823 : " J. P. Tussaud (son of
Madame T.) respectfully informs the nobility, gentry, and the
public in general, that he has a machine by which he takes
profile likenesses. Price, 2s. to 75., according to style.
This machine was probably of the kind described by Blenkinsopp
in Notes and Queries: "A long rod worked in a movable
fulcrum, with a pencil at one end and a small iron rod at
the other, was the apparatus. He passed the rod over the face
4-6 The History of Silhouettes
and head, and the pencil at the other end reproduced the
outline on a card, afterwards filled in with lamp-black."
It is probable that Edward Ward Foster, who described
himself as " Profilist from London," used such a machine, which
he thus describes : " The construction and simplicity of this
machine render it one of the most ingenious inventions of the
present day, as it is impossible in its delineation to differ from
the outlines of the original, even the breadth of a hair.
" Mr. F. wishes the public to understand that, besides sketching
profiles, this machine will make a complete etching on copper-
plate, by which means any person can take any number he
thinks proper, at any time, from the etched plate ; and for the
further satisfaction of the public, he will most respectfully return
the money paid if the likeness is not good. Profiles in black
at 55. and upwards, etc. Derby, January i, 1811."
Mr. West, miniature and profile painter, from London,
worked with the same machine. His prices were : profiles on
card, in black, 55. ; in colours, ics. 6d. ; on ivory, in colours,
one guinea and upwards.
We have succeeded in tracing the recorded description of
one of the sitters who actually had a portrait taken by such
an instrument, and also one who saw such an instrument as
late as 1879. The account is by Mr. H. Hems, Fair Park,
Exeter, and brings our tale of mechanical contrivances in con-
nection with silhouette portraiture to a fitting close :
" Happening to be at Dundee at the time of the Tay
Bridge disaster (it occurred upon the last Sunday evening in
1879, when 67 people were drowned), I recollect a Mr. Saunders,
a saddler at Droughty Ferry, in the immediate neighbourhood,
possessed and showed me as a curio one of these identical
(3) Freehand Scissor-work.
IN the foregoing accounts of black profile painting, the
cutting out of a sketched outline obtained by shadow-
graphy or any other means, little mention has been
made of the freehand scissor artist, who, without pencil
or pen sketch, cut a small likeness after studying the sitter for
a few seconds.
Though there were many other processes which gave
charming and artistic results, there is no doubt that from the
dated convent work of 1708 and the first known record in Eng-
land of Mrs. Pyburg, who cut the portraits of William and
Mary, up to the few remaining cutters of the present day, this
type of freehand scissor-work has persisted in England, and also
Some of the early cut -work examples were made with the
assistance of fine small-bladed knives. Specimens of cut vellum
exist, which it would have been impossible to cut with scissors
alone. A notably fine example is in the Francisco-Carolinum
Museum at Linz ; it is an Ex Voto offering, and represents the
Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt. The parchment mount
has the most elaborate tendrils cut out, while typically German
flourishes and mantling support birds and beasts. A stag-hunt
is seen in one part, while the imperial eagle is not wanting in
this skilful production. The picture is dated 1708.
In the same museum is a magnificent Dedication to the State
Deputation of the Province of Nymwegen. Justice is surrounded
by angels and trophies, painted and gilded, and the arms of
the province are cut with much delicacy, and with richly foliated
48 The History of Silhouettes
ornament. The whole is mounted on red, and dated 1710, but
the artist wielder of the penknife unfortunately does not sign his
It is possible that these examples were convent-made. The
cutting out of religious subjects and the extreme elaboration of
their ornamental borders flourished, to a small extent, for some
years after the printing press had destroyed the occupation of the
monks in copying and illuminating manuscripts. A reproduction
of one of these is now before us. It represents St. Benedict
seated in the habit of a monk ; a cross, skull, and other symbols
are on the rocks at his side ; the saint has a halo. A large
tree is in the background, and birds and a squirrel are amongst
the branches ; two steps lead down to a sylvan scene, where
the saint is seen walking away in the distance. Conven-
tionalised roses, cornucopia, and floriated forms compose the
wide border ; this is all cut on the same piece of vellum, but
there is no colour used. Another convent-made cut picture,
which was exhibited at the Briinn Exhibition, shows a picture
of the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan ; it is signed " F. Aga-
thaugdus, Bonnensis Capuchin'' In this picture, which is of
paper, not vellum, the arms of a bishop appear, together with the
inscription, "Johanni Ernesto, S.R.I., Principi Metropolitanae
An achievement of arms seems to have been a favourite
subject for such pieces. A remarkable specimen in cut paper,
mounted on looking-glass, is in the collection of Lady Dorothy
Nevill. It displays the arms, supporters, and motto of Robert
Walpole, Earl of Orford, the ancestor of Lady Dorothy.
These examples are very difficult to find ; it is probable that
many have been destroyed.
Another example, in the possession of the author, shows
a heraldic escutcheon, with wolf and hound supporter, etc.
SILHOUETTE PORTRAITS OF MEMBERS OF THE ANSLEY FAMILY
Painted in bUck and ornpe-red on convex glass. Ditcd 1793. Signed by W.
In the possession of L*dy S*ckrt1lc, Knole
This lies between two sheets of glass. The minuteness of the
cutting of this fine paper is extraordinary.
A very fine specimen has a miniature of Charles I. In the
centre an elaborate mount is cut out of thin paper ; the whole
is in a fine tortoiseshell frame of the period. This type of
work is rare.
Little mention is made of freehand paper or vellum cutting
in the early written treatises, probably because, needing only
talent for catching a likeness and skill in wielding the
scissors, there was little to be said about it ; so that the
early writers on the black profile work turned their attention to
the less gifted workers who needed their help with extraneous
and complicated processes.
Of all those who cut the likeness direct after glancing at the
sitter, the Frenchman, August Edouart, was undoubtedly the most
skilful and prolific. He styles himself " Silhouettist to the French
Royal Family. Patronised by His Royal Highness the late Duke
of Gloucester and the principal nobility of England, Scotland,
and Ireland." When he first came to England as a refugee, he
seems to have supported himself by a strange industry, invented
by himself, which he calls mosaic hair-work. In the descriptive
catalogue which is before us, of an exhibition of this work held
about 1826, such items appear as a wolfs head ; a squirrel, made
with real hair, climbing a tree ; a marine view with a man-
"This performance in human hair imitates the finest true
engraving ; the curious may perceive, with the help of a
magnifying glass, the cordage and men on board. This work
has taken at least twelve months in its execution." When he
made hair portraits of men, women, or animals, he used their
own natural hair, " raising them from the ivory and making
5 The History of Silhouettes
"These works," writes Edouart, "being of my own invention
and execution, I have desisted from making for the last twelve
years, since the death of my royal and distinguished patrons,
Queen Charlotte, the Prince of Saxe-Coburg, and others."
It is strange that Edouart never combined hair- work with
shadow portraiture, as did some of the German exponents.
Being so expert a hair artist, it would have been natural to
expect some examples of this rare combination ; none, however,
have as yet come before the author, though, knowing Edouart
was an expert in both crafts, such examples have been sought.
Edouart wrote a treatise on " Silhouette Likenesses," a book
which is now very rare. It was published by Longman & Co.,
Paternoster Row, in 1835, and is illustrated with eighteen full-
page plates, and it is characteristic of the man that the first
is a portrait of himself; others are of celebrated personages of
the day, and there are also several genre pictures executed with
considerable skill. It is in portraiture, however, that his
unrivalled skill has placed him high above all other workers in
black paper cutting.
He describes his discovery of his talent for likeness cutting
at some length. At the end of 1825 he was shown black shades
which had been taken with a patent machine, and condemned
them as unlike the originals. He was challenged to do them
as well. " I replied that my finding a fault was not a reason
that I could do better, and that I had never even dreamed of
taking likenesses. ... I then took a pair of scissors, I tore the
cover off a letter that lay on the table ; I took the old father
by the arm and led him to a chair, that I placed in a proper
manner, so as to see his profile, then in an instant I
produced the likeness. The paper being white, I took the
black snuffers and rubbed it on with my fingers ; this likeness
and preparation, made so quickly, as if by inspiration, was at
Processes 5 1
once approved of, and found so like that the ladies changed
their teasing and ironical tone to praises, and begged me to
take their mothers' likeness, which I did with the same facility
There is much long-winded explanation in this egotistical
and somewhat priggish style, but delightful sidelights are
thrown on the adventures of a silhouettist in the performance
of his craft, of the status of the artist, his contempt of all
methods except his own, and the naive devices used for gaining
advertisement. As these have no place in the present chapter,
they will be found elsewhere under "August Edouart and his
Edouart nearly always cut the full-length figure. Amongst
some thousands of his portraits which have been examined, only
about fifty of bust size have been discovered.
"The figure adds materially to the effect that produces a
likeness, and combines with the outline of the face to render,
as it were, a double likeness in the same subject. From this
combination of face and figure arises the pleasing and not less
surprising result of a striking resemblance. The many thousands
I have taken of the full-length enable me confidently to make
He argues that, in catching a likeness, attitude and demeanour
are as important as the features of the face and contours of
the head. The silhouette is the representation of a shade, he
says, and if it be not critically exact, the principal part of its
merit is lost.
He considers that the grouping of several figures makes
the emphasising of a likeness in any one of the figures more
noticeable, the difference existing between individuals, whether in
height, gesture, or attitude, being a great advantage to the
artist in giving point to the likeness.
5 2 The History of Silhouettes
He also lays great stress on the proportions in the figure
of the sitter, which can be shown only in the full-length.
Some have a long body and small legs, others long legs and
a short body; in fact, everything in nature varies, and all these
variations help to make the portrait of the individual, and not
the features alone. Beauty, he continues, has respect to form.
Now, one part of a figure may exhibit a beautiful form, and
yet that figure may not be well proportioned throughout. For
instance, a man may have a handsome leg, or arm, considered
in itself, but the other parts of his figure may not equal this
part in beauty, or this part may not be accurately propor-
tioned to the rest of the figure ; and so on through many
pages, in which Edouart proves to his own satisfaction that,
in order to give a correct shade likeness of a person, it is
necessary to portray the whole and not one part only of that
person. He goes further, and maintains that, as the manner of
dress is often as characteristic as the gait, what is most
usual for the sitter to wear should be depicted.
Edouart's portraits are to be found in many parts of the
British Isles and the United States of America, for his custom
was to take up his abode in a town, to advertise in the
papers, and to stay there while he took the silhouette
portraits of the surrounding gentry and noblemen. Quite early
in his career, his albums of duplicates contained 50,000
(the late Mr. Andrew Tuer computes them at 100,000)
portraits, so that his whole output must have been enormous.
He seems to have worked with great method, keeping a note
of " the names of the persons I take, and the dates. These
are written five times over first, on the duplicate of the like-
ness ; secondly, in my day book ; thirdly, in the book in which
I preserve them ; fourthly, in the index of that book ; and fifthly,
in the general index. Without this arrangement, how could I
at a minute's notice tell whether I had taken the likeness of
any person enquired for, and could it be otherwise possible to
produce the silhouette, or to know from about 50 books, folio
size, and above 50,000 likenesses, if I had taken the one
required ? "
The value of such method and classification, when some of
these long-lost volumes came to the writer for identification,
can be imagined. The story of the romance of the lost folios
is too long a one to include in a general chapter on silhouette
cutters and their work. It will appear in its place elsewhere,
together with a notice of some of the extraordinarily interesting
groups of famous people, especially those of the United States,
where presidents and senators, public officials, professional men,
famous characters, their wives and children, appear in startling
sequence, crowded with order and method on to the pages of
the numerous large volumes.
It was when on his way home from the American continent
that Edouart met with that misfortune which so preyed upon
his mind that he died in a short time. The ship "Oneida,"
on which he travelled, was wrecked off the coast of Guernsey,
and a large portion of Edouart's collection was lost, together
with much personal luggage, and a good deal of the cargo of
cotton from Maryland. He died near Calais in 1861.
The very clever freehand scissor pictures of Paul Konewka
are justly famous. Like Edouart, he was of the nineteenth
century. Born in 1840, he was the son of a university official
in Greifswald. After a public school education, he studied under
Menzel, for whose influence he was ever grateful. He dedicated
his Falstaff and his Companions to him while his master lay
During his travels through Germany, Konewka cut a very
large number of portraits which are now treasured in the
54 The History of Silhouettes
possession of private owners. The actress, Anna Klenk, served
as a model for many of his very beautiful figures.
While in Tubingen, at the Clinical Institute, he used
quietly to cut the portraits of many of the listeners, and the
professor who was lecturing as well. Such was his skill that
he did his work by touch alone under the table. He was
introduced to a general in Berlin, who flattered him, but called
his gift dangerous. Konewka immediately handed him his own
likeness, cut out of the lining of his dress-coat at the back
while the general addressed him. Surely the same might be
said of Konewka as was said of Runge, " the scissors have
become nothing less than a lengthening of my fingers."
It is as a book illustrator that Konewka is best known to
the world. Besides the Fa 1st off and his Companions dedicated
to Paul Heyse, illustrations for Midsummer Night's Dream
and twelve sheets for Goethe's Faust, children's picture
books, loose sheets, and many other illustrations, were cut
by him. Konewka died in Berlin in 1871, his last silhouette
being that of a dying trooper to illustrate the German song,
" O Strasburg du wunderschcen Stadt."
No less gifted in the art of scissor-cutting was Karl
Frohlich, once a compositor. His skill was chiefly directed
towards little genre pictures of children plucking flowers, winged
cupids, old men and women drinking coffee, and much fine
landscape work. Unlike Konewka, he never cut wood blocks,
so that his work has not been accessible for publication.
P. Packeny was an enthusiastic amateur, who worked in
Vienna from 1846. He cut landscapes and genre pictures, but
unfortunately did not confine himself to black and white effects,
so that much of his work is spoilt by the use of brightly
Runge, the German artist, it is said, learnt silhouette cutting
by watching his sister at her embroidery. In 1806 he sent
some marvellously cut-out flowers to Goethe. The poet was so
charmed with them that he declared he would decorate a whole
room with Runge's work ; this was never done. The artist
wrote early in his career : " If chance had put a pencil instead
of scissors into my hand, I would draw you all, so
plainly do I see you." Herr Julius Leisching agrees with
Lichtwark that the cutting out of silhouettes had great influence
on Runge's pictures. Runge's studies of plants with scissors
and paper have been privately published. He cut out while
out walking ; saw and cut nature down to the roots.
One of the most remarkable of the paper cutters of the early
nineteenth century was Hubard, who seems to have been the
inevitable infant prodigy of the craft. He began his freehand
scissor-work in portraiture and landscape at the early age of
thirteen. The handbill which lies before us advertises his art as
" Papyrolomia " a terrible word, which doubtless had its uses in
whetting the appetite of the public by mystifying them and
suggesting terrifying adventures. This leaflet is illustrated with
a grotesque figure, which has obviously been some of the
printer's stock-in-trade, for it is hardly germane to the. subject
of silhouette cutting, nor could it be the portrait of a
scissor-worker of such tender years as Master Hubard, though
this artist is only a secondary attraction in the show. The
handbill runs thus:
Facing the George Hotel, Galway.
Entrance, 376, High Street.
The Papyrolomia of the celebrated Master Hubard.
Little John, the Muffin Man.
\Tktn follows the rough wood block representing a grotesque figure.}
Collection of accurate Delineations of Flowers, Trees, Perspective Views,
Architectural, Military, Sporting Pieces, Family Groups, Portraits of Distinguished
Individuals, etc., Elegantly Mounted Pictures and Backgrounds, by W. G. Wall,
5^ The History of Silhouettes
Esqre., Dublin, together with 7 grand Oriental Paintings of the most celebrated
views of North America, taken on the spot by eminent British artists.
For which money each visitor is to receive a correct Likeness in Bust, cut in
20 seconds, without drawing or machine, by sight alone, and simply with a pair
of scissors, by a boy of 14. Those who are averse to sitting for the Likeness are
presented with some small specimen of the youthful artist's talents.
Likenesses both in ink and in colours.
Style from 75. 6d. up, by artists. Frames in Gilt.
Visitors are enabled to return to the Gallery by introducing a Stranger.
Open from 10 till Dusk.
This device with regard to a return visit to the gallery was
probably highly successful, and adopted by Master Hubard on
his visit to the United States about 1833. He was seventeen
years of age when he went to America and established a
Hubard Gallery in New York, where for fifty cents he cut the
portraits of many well-known people. His gallery was thronged.
His pictures are usually full-length portraits, and are pasted
on card, having "Hubard Gallery" embossed in the left-hand
corner. The example before us shows a handsome man with
frock-coat and high stock collar. Though most of his work
was done with scissors, Hubard also worked in Indian ink,
and sometimes used gold pencilling to heighten the effect.
An interesting example of his work is the portrait of little
Princess Victoria, when about ten years of age. This was
doubtless cut at Kensington Palace ; possibly the little maid
would be allowed to visit the gallery, or Hubard may have
been summoned to the palace, as Edouart v/as to Holyrood.
J. Gapp was another early Victorian profile cutter, whose skill
with the scissors is markedly in advance of his artistic sense.
In his advertisement of about the year 1829, at the back of
a boy's full-length in Eton suit and aggressively large white
collar, he describes himself as "The original Profilist for cutting
accurate Likenesses attends daily at the Third Tower in the
centre of the Chain Pier (Brighton), and begs to observe
that he has no connection with any other person, and that he
continues to produce the most wonderful Likenesses, in which
the expression and peculiarity of character are brought into
action in a very superior style on the following terms :
Full-length likenesses at 2s. 6d. each, two of the same
45., or in bronze 45. ; profile to the bust is., two of the same
is. 6d., or in bronze 2s. Ladies and gentlemen on horseback
75. 6d. ; single horses 55. ; dogs is. 6d. N.B. A variety
of interesting small cuttings for Ladies' Scrap-books."
Here we have a clue to the great scrap-book mania of the
day. Everyone, from royalty downwards, collected treasures to
paste in scrap-books, and Gapp, of the Chain Pier, like
Hubard, was clever enough to offer to supply the want of
E. Haines, patronised by the Royal Family, also worked on
the Chain Pier at Brighton, at " the first left-hand tower." He
describes himself as a " Profilist and Scissorgraphist." His
trade label is on the back of a fine full-length portrait of a
man, once in the collection of Mr. Montague J. Guest. There is
great vigour and character in Haines' work ; the specimen
before us is untouched with gold.
G. Atkinson (1815) also describes himself as " Silhouettist to
the Royal Family." He lived at Windsor, and there are some
fine portraits of George III. and his sons, which, though stilted
and without imagination, show considerable skill in the cutting.
A group cut out in black and touched with gold was exhibited
by G. Sharland, Esq., at the Royal Amateur Art Society's
Exhibition in 1911.
Though there are many other scissor-workers who might be
mentioned, and examples described of graceful women in hooped
5^ The History of Silhouettes
skirts and fascinating side ringlets, maidens in cottage bonnets,
and dainty children whose ringing voices one can almost hear as
the shadow pageant passes, yet sufficient examples have been
mentioned to show how popular was the craze for black portrait
cutting, and how large a branch it was of the black profile
That silhouettes are kept in the reference library of our
National Portrait Gallery, because, on account of their life-like
resemblance, they are of great value to the authorities in the
identification of unknown portraits, is a fact which speaks for
the great historic value of these pictorial records. In the
cuttings of Edouart there is the ego of the man or woman
as well as the bodily form. A gesture, the poise of the body,
the arrested movement of the limbs, are shown with more than
photographic correctness when photography was as yet unborn. In
the picture of a blind man we see by the tilt of the chin, the
angle of the head, that, like all so afflicted, the man is exercising
senses which are dormant in those who have sight. The simple
black outline of the American deaf and dumb poet Nack, by
this master-cutter, is instinct with the patient silence of the
dumb, the aloofness of the deaf. Fine oil paintings and
miniatures give us a man or woman interpreted through the
senses of the artist and idealised or distorted through the
alchemy of the artist's mind. The shadow portrait is nature
herself, and its very simplicity of line imposes a keener effect
on the mind of the student, because there are no contours to
confuse the outline.
AUGUST EDOUART AND HIS BOOK.
[HE introduction of the name Silhouette into England
seems to have been due to August Edouart, a French-
man, who, though only commencing the black portrait
cutting after leaving his own country, used the French
word for his craft instead of the black shade, which had hitherto
been the name in England for such profile portraits.
" How many times," writes Edouart, in the chapter in his
treatise which he naively calls "The Grievances and Miseries of
Artists," " have I had people who, immediately after entering my
room, departed, exclaiming, ' Oh ! they are all black shades," and
would not stop to inspect them."
" The name silhouette, which appeared in the newspaper adver-
tisements, seems to have given them to understand that it was
a new kind of likeness done in colours, each of which (full-
length figure) they expected to get for five shillings."
Again, on another page, he exclaims, " Why does such pre-
judice exist against black shades, which I call silhouette like-
nesses?" Certainly none of the early shadow portrait painters
on paper, glass, or plaster ever used this name, taken from the
French Finance Minister. It was not used in England until
after the commencement of Edouart's work and the publication
of his book. By this time, it must be remembered, black profile
portraiture had deteriorated in beauty, and the artists who fre-
quented fairs and places of amusement were less skilled, indeed,
than the Miers, Fields, Beethams, and Rosenbergs of the eighteenth
" Obliged to quit my country in consequence of a change in
its Government," Edouart, the most prolific and important of
60 The History of Silhouettes
all the scissor-men, describes himself as "thrown upon foreign
ground, without friends and without knowledge of the language.
I had then very little money left, for I had lost all I pos-
sessed in the evacuation of Holland in 1813. A few months
after my arrival in England, I found myself, after payment of
all my travelling expenses, in possession of no more than a five-
pound note, which I immediately expended in advertising myself
as a French teacher."
Succeeding in this at first, the arrival of so many other
Frenchmen after a time reduced his work, and Edouart sought
other means of livelihood. He began to make devices, land-
scapes, etc., with human hair, though what led him to this
quaint handicraft, or what previous training he had in it, we
have not been able to discover.
After receiving the patronage of Her Royal Highness the late
Duchess of York, and making the portraits of some of her dogs
with the animals' own hair, he worked for the Queen and
Princess Charlotte. Edouart, whose industry seems always to
have been remarkable, executed over fifty of these strange hair
portraits, and held an exhibition, the catalogue of which lies
In 1825, Madame Edouart died, and August was persuaded
to try his hand at likeness cutting in order to better the per-
formance of some machine artist, whose work he had condemned.
Finding, much to his surprise, that he was able to produce
likenesses with extraordinary facility and exactness, he was
persuaded by his friends to employ his time in this way, " so
as to divert the gloom from my sinking mind, and alleviate
my sorrows." It seems probable also that his new talent was
useful in filling his much depleted purse.
After many expressions of reluctance that he, August
Edouart, should be cut by society and become a black profile
August Edouart 61
taker, he decided to make an art of what had been so long
considered a mere mechanical process, for Edouart never seems
to have heard of black painted profiles and the exquisite work
of the early profile painters, but only the machine-made pictures
by the itinerant workers.
The first full-length that Edouart took was of the Bishop
of Bangor, Dr. Magendie. " I succeeded so well," he says in his
introduction, " that I took all his lordship's family ; and so
pleased were they that I made forty duplicates. This d6but,
being so far above my expectation, encouraged me to continue,
and from that time, being much engaged by the first visitors of
Cheltenham, I took a resolution to keep a copy of every one to
form a collection."
"This talent," he continues, "showed itself so strongly, and
I was so anxious, that I worked from morning till night, and
even in my dreams my brain was so much overheated by that
anxiety, that in those dreams I was cutting likenesses of great
personages, kings, queens, etc."
His method of holding the scissors was unusual. The reason
for this peculiarity is thus described : " One day, when crossing
a stile, a lady tore her dress by a nail which was put on the
step mischievously. To prevent the recurrence, I took a stone
to take the nail away: in the act of doing so my index finger
was lacerated in such a manner that I could not use my
scissors. I suffered a great deal for several days, and my
mind being so much excited about it, I dreamt that I cut
likenesses without using the index finger. I was so much
struck by this that, as soon as I awoke, I took my scissors
and have ever since used them in that manner." In an old
daguerrotype he is seen cutting a portrait in this manner.
In his treatise Edouart gives no detailed account of his
journeys, though he notes that he has always kept a diary.
62 The History of Silhouettes
From newspaper advertisements we learn that he was in
Cheltenham in June, 1829, where he is described in the Chel-
tenham Journal as assisting in Lavater's system with regard
to Physiognomy. At this stage the old idea that silhouette
portraits must have a scientific use still clung to the craft.
In 1830 Edouart is in Edinburgh. In the Scotsman of
February i3th the collection of ingenious works executed by
Monsieur Edouart is mentioned. " This may be seen gratuitously
at 72, Princes Street. Mr. Edouart makes silhouette likenesses,
not only of the profile, but also of the whole person, by cutting
them by the hand, out of black paper." The account ends
thus : " In his rooms the curious will find amusement and the
philosophic employment." The cannie Scotsman would attract
the "unco" guid" with learning and occupation as well as the
frivolous with amusement.
On May 8th of the same year the Edinburgh Evening
Courant takes notice of Edouart's success in his likenesses of
Sir Walter Scott (this portrait of Scott was recently pur-
chased by the Director of the National Portrait Gallery, on
account of its fine technique and the human and lifelike
attitude of the great novelist), the Dean of Faculty, and other
distinguished characters of the city, and slyly regrets that Edouart
departs so soon.
The clever hint at departure evidently had the desired effect,
for in the following February, 1831, Edouart is still at Edin-
burgh, " his rooms thronged with visitors since his threatened
departure. Six hundred likenesses in a fortnight, and declining
to take new ones till the orders given by the first families are
executed." Five thousand duplicates are now on view, and his
books are exhibited at Holyrood Palace, where they are much
approved of by the Royal Family.
It was at the end of 1830 that Charles X., ex-king of France,
August Edouart 63
and suite, arrived at Holyrood, and though Edouart acknow-
ledges "a feeling of ill-will towards the Bourbon family is
still lingering in my bosom, remembering as I did the losses
I suffered in consequence of their restoration to the throne of
France," he attended, when requested in person by the Duchesse
de Berri. He found " His Majesty pacing up and down, and
the Duchesse presented me, reminding the King that I was a
Frenchman. He seemed pleased and affable."
The whole Royal Family, attended by the suite, nearly forty
in number, formed a circle, in the centre of which Edouart cut
his first paper portrait of Charles X. " By mistake," he says,
" I took paper of four folds, in place of one of two, and, as
I had begun, so I cut out the likeness. As soon as I had
finished it the little Prince (the Duke of Bordeaux) took one,
Mademoiselle, his sister, took another, the Duchesse de Berri
Edouart cut the likenesses that evening of the Duke
d'Angoulme, the Duchesse d'Angoule'me, the Duchesse de Berri,
Mademoiselle Louise Marie, the Duke de Bordeaux, the
Cardinal de Latil, and many of the suite. After this Edouart
declares that he "was a daily visitor at Holyrood, and my
exhibition was often honoured by Royalty." The Duke de
Bordeaux declared that if Edouart would become one of his
suite, he should be called the Black Knight.
Two of the Holyrood portraits by Edouart were exhibited
at the Amateur Art Society's Exhibition in 1902, by Miss
Head. They were thus described in the Catalogue:
" 119. Duchesse de Berri and her children (Henry V. and
the Duchesse de Parma) at Holyrood, by Edouart."
" 1 20. Henry V. and the Duchesse de Parma as children
In the recently discovered folios which belonged to Edouart
64 The History of Silhouettes
himself, and which serve as an invaluable record of the
entourage of Charles X. at Holyrood, very many of these
likenesses appear ; most of them have the original autograph
of the sitter. From the wonderfully interesting groups of
shadows we see the vie intime of the exiled king. He is
surrounded by his children, his chamberlains and equerries,
intimate friends, physicians (for body and soul). Even L'Abbe
Focart, Confesseur du Roi, figures amongst them ; and visitors
to Holyrood, such as the Baron de Size and the Baron de
Sepmanville, are included ; besides the dogs and horses, the
ponies of the children, and the toys and playthings with which
they amused themselves in those days of exile.
Even when such success rewarded the efforts of Edouart,
he is still in apologetic mood with regard to his art, and
declares that if his work had not been good the French Royal
Family would not have encouraged it. " They had seen a
great quantity of those common (machine-made) black shades in
Paris, and had also a great dislike to them, which was soon
removed when they saw the nature of mine." He is never
able to refrain from a sneer at the other silhouettists.
In December, 1831, the Glasgow Free Press declares that
" Monsieur E.'s rooms need only to be known to become a
fashionable resort for lovers of the fine arts." The hair models
seem to have formed part of the exhibition.
In October, 1832, Edouart is still in Glasgow, and his
likenesses now number 45,000, including the Orphan Asylum
and all its managers, the directors of the Commercial Bank,
and several others. In London he took 800 members of the
Stock Exchange, of which he sold several books.
Edouart seems to have moved on to Dublin in 1833, but
we doubt if he was pleased when the Dublin Evening Mail
of July 24th describes him as " the most comical and at the
PORTRAIT OF LORD MANSFIELD
Painted on glass by A. Forbirger, P*
August Edouart 65
same time the cleverest artist from Paris. His art gives the
scissors all the expressive powers of the pencil, and extracts
from a single tint of black the miraculous effects of a whole
rainbow of colours."
Edouart is by now cutting out genre pictures, and subjects
from " ^sop's Fables " are mentioned, while the portraits increase
rapidly in number, 6,000 being taken in Dublin alone. The
Archbishop of Dublin and a great number of clergy and the
officers of the garrison head the list. In his exhibition he
shows, amongst thousands of others, His Royal Highness the
late Duke of York, the Duke of Gloucester, and the Duke of
Wellington ; the Bishops of Norwich, Bangor, St. Davids, and
Bristol ; Doctors Chalmers and Gordon ; Edward Irving,
Charles Simeon, Rowland Hill, Joseph Wolfe, Jabez Bunting,
Sir Walter Scott, Mrs. Hannah More, Mrs. Opie (herself
a silhouettist), Kean, Listen, Power, Sir Astley Cooper, Baron
In August, 1834, Edouart went to Cork. Later he visited
Kinsale, Fermoy, Mallow, Limerick, and many other places.
Paganini's portrait was taken at Edinburgh in October, 1832,
where Edouart went, travelling from Glasgow on purpose to
obtain it. Signer Paganini declared it was the first likeness
of himself which was not caricatured. This full-length portrait
shows the maestro standing, violin in hand, just ready to begin.
In the background are lithograph portraits of the members of
an orchestra : they are seated in a domed music-room.
It was in 1835 tnat Edouart's book was published. We
presume it had been written during the time of his prodigious
activities in silhouette cutting while he moved from place to
place and conducted his exhibition. It is a thin demy octavo
volume of 122 pages, now extremely rare. The copy in the
possession of the author was presented to Miss C. J. Hutchings
66 The History of Silhouettes
by Edouart at Cheltenham, August 25th, 1836. There are
eighteen full-page plates, showing black portraits or fancy
figures mounted on lithograph backgrounds, by Unkles & Klasen,
26, South Mall, Cork. In the original volumes of duplicates
kept by Edouart many of these mounts were found, as the
silhouettist doubtless kept a number by him ready for
mounting his portraits.
In a chapter headed " The Vexations and Slights my Pro-
fession has brought upon me," Edouart deplores " the vulgarity
into which silhouettes have fallen, so that I could not walk
in public with a lady on my arm without hearing such
remarks as this, ' Who can she be that lady with the black
shade man?" The same disposition to cast odium on me
was displayed whenever I was seen walking arm-in-arm with
friends who moved in circles of high life. It went so far
that, being in the habit of walking at the Wells of Cheltenham,
and accustomed to go to the balls at the Rotunda, I was forced
to deprive myself of the pleasure of being with my friends in
these places. On different occasions several persons of high
rank in society accused me of being somewhat proud," and
so on through many pages.
On one occasion his greeting was of the most cordial des-
cription, owing to an amusing mistake. " A friend having given
a recommendatory letter to a particular friend in town, I was
received in a better manner than ever I was received since I
began taking black shades. As my friend would not recommend
me to a suitable lodging, we went to the editor of a newspaper,
to whom he spoke, and then presented me to him. Upon
this we all went to the governor of the castle, who had a
house to let in the town. The governor willingly consented
to let me have the house, though he feared the boards might
not be strong enough for the exercise of my profession, and
August Edouart 67
the quantity of people it would be likely to attract ; indeed,
it would be advisable to practise on the ground floor, that
the noise and bustle would not be so great, and the like. . . .
"The governor, who had been a military man, asked me very
good-humouredly if it were not trespassing on my goodness
to allow him to take a round with me, saying that he had
taken lessons, and took off his coat. I declared that I had
not brought my tools with me." The scene is described in
several pages, and shows how the governor offers eventually to
lend gloves, when it dawns upon the profilist that the letter
has been misread, and the sports around him imagine he is a
Edouart seems to have suffered much at the hands of his
" But, Monsieur Edouart," says one of these, " you have taken
John, who is a head taller than his brother William, a great
deal smaller. How can that be ? It is a mistake of yours ; you
must correct that."
" You must know, madam," replies the silhouettist, " that it is
according to the rule of perspective. Do you not see that John
is at least six yards farther in the background than his
"Yes! but his is cut smaller," persists the aggrieved parent.
Gentlemen demanding ladies' profiles were refused by this
veritable Mrs. Grundy of silhouettists. His refusal is given
in language worthy of the Fairchild family.
" Ladies are never exhibited, nor duplicates of their likenesses
either sold or delivered to anyone but themselves or by their
special order. This resolution I have taken, and I follow it very
strictly, being fully aware of the consequence that would result
if this measure was not adopted. Gentlemen presume that they
are entitled to possess the likenesses of any ladies they like.
68 The History of Silhouettes
But no no they cannot deceive me by false pretences. I am
too much upon my guard to be surprised. The books in which
I keep duplicates are all defended with a patent lock."
Monsieur Edouart rivals the serpent in wiliness when a
lady's portrait is so desired and the gentleman offers the address
where it should be sent. The artist says, " I do not require to
know your direction, gentlemen. I know that of the lady, to
whom I shall send it, and she herself will deliver it to you."
We should imagine that, under those conditions, orders were
" Some make themselves pass for relations," adds Edouart,
who is not without a sense of humour, though he does take
himself so seriously, "as a brother, cousin, uncle, etc., but all
this is in vain."
Edouart seems to have used special means of his own to
extract payment of debts, and his illustration " The Screw "
shows in what manner his clients were brought to book.
The episode is described at great length in his book, but un-
fortunately the name of the sitter for " The Screw " is withheld.
Briefly, a young man had his portrait cut, approved of the
likeness, but regretted, after seeing a picture of a friend in a
dress-coat, that he had not also worn that kind. In a very
rude manner he said he would not pay for the completed like-
ness until another was done in a dress-coat. Edouart said he
must be paid for both. This the man refused, so the artist
refused to cut the second picture and was left with the portrait
on his hands. To cut the screw and add the ring and hook
was the work of a few moments, and the picture was then
exhibited in a conspicuous position in the window, where every-
one recognised it. "Since that time, I have not had occasion to
make a screw," adds Edouart, naively.
The subject of caricature in silhouette is a very interesting
August Edouart 69
one, but cannot be fully treated here. There are few examples,
and it is strange that so virile and graphic an art as that of
the silhouette should show so few specimens of caricature work.
In August Edouart's work just such aptitude for seizing
the salient feature in face or figure is invariably shown which
is the quality most required by the caricaturist, but Edouart
never allows his scissors to swerve from faithful and exact
portrayal ; no note of exaggeration is seen even when executing
the fine studies, such as his beggar and itinerant groups in the
streets of Bath or Cheltenham.
In the figure of George Gary, porter at Price's auction
rooms, Bath, taken April 4th, 1827, there is no exaggeration. The
man appears balancing two fine candlesticks on a small tray;
the unerring likeness is self-evident. It is the same with
the blind gingerbread-seller of Gay Street ; the bill-sticker who
is about to paste up one of Edouart's own labels ; John Hulbert,
the old scavenger ; and with several of the no less clever street
characters of Bath. In these we see consummate skill in depicting
the man or woman in life as they were, but with no sense
of bias towards caricature.
Amongst the old letters recently discovered with the precious
folios of Edouart's duplicates is one from " S. H.," dated
Birmingham, June ist, 1838 :
" MY DEAR FRIEND, On seeing your Exhibition, I was
astonished at the application you must have bestowed on an
art I had till then considered as useless. I found likenesses
of unrivalled talent, not only accurate outlines, but giving the
character of those whom they represented. Write to me from
America. The Americans are known to encourage talent of
every description, and I hope to see you return laden with
the produce of your labours in that fresh and interesting
country to the place you are now quitting."
7 The History of Silhouettes
For how long Edouart had been contemplating his American
tour we are not aware. In the year 1839 he was in Liverpool,
working at his profession. In the same year he sailed for the
United States, taking with him his volumes of English, Scotch,
and Irish portraits for exhibition purposes.
He seems to have met with immediate success, and the
volumes which contain his American portraits give so complete
a pictorial record of the social and political history of the time
(1839-1849) as probably no other nation possesses. During his
first year three hundred and eighty-one portraits were taken in
New York, Saratoga, Boston, and Philadelphia, amongst them
being Mr. Belmont, who is entered as "August Belmont, Agent
of the House of Rothschild, New York." There are two portraits,
8i inches in height, of this man, who was an important social
and financial figure of the day, and founder of the Jockey
Club of New York ; congress-men, editors, journalists, and
officers of the Army and Navy in uniform.
The wives and children of these interesting men are also
included in the collection, and later, when he visited New
Orleans and other States where slavery was permitted, we find
occasionally a slave's picture " belonging " to the family. As in
his English collections, the names of his sitters, the date, and
name of place where taken, and sometimes curious details such
as height and weight, are all entered, not only beneath each
portrait in the folio, but also at the back of the portrait itself;
and also in his list-books newspaper cuttings are sometimes
added. In 1840 five hundred and thirty-one portraits were taken
in the same places, in Washington and Saratoga Springs. Major-
General Winfield Scott (Commander-in-Chief) is amongst them.
The year 1841 was the time of the great Log Cabin election,
and Harrison, the hero, is shown with two autographs in Edouart's
books, besides his whole Cabinet and the orators, demagogues,
August Edouart \ ^l
place-hunters, and abolitionists, who all seem to have visited
the studio of the artist, whatever their political opinions. Seven
hundred and sixty-five portraits were taken in this year at
Washington and elsewhere.
After the tragic death of Harrison, John Tyler, the only
man who was President without election, was taken by Edouart,
and it gave the author great pleasure to present to the
American nation his autographed silhouette. It was taken at
the White House in 1841, and was returned there through
Mr. Taft in June, 1911, after seventy years' wandering. When
arranging the presentation, His Excellency, James Bryce, our
Ambassador in Washington, was much interested, because
Edouart had visited his old home in the north of Ireland and
cut the portraits of his father and grandfather, which are still
preserved there, and are fine likenesses.
In 1842 Edouart travelled further afield, and made six
hundred and forty-one pictures in New Orleans and other
States he had not yet visited ; in Cambridge he cut Longfellow,
the Appleton family, the President of Harvard, and dozens of
professors and students of the College.
In 1843 four hundred and sixty of the citizens of Phila-
delphia, New York, Saratoga Springs, Norwich (Conn.),
Charlestown, and other towns too numerous to mention, were
taken, named, dated, and placed in his folios. There are an
interesting crowd of congress-men, senators, financial celebrities,
actors, musicians, editors, men of science, and the members of
the Army and Navy, mostly in uniform, including Macomb,
then Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army.
In 1844 five hundred and eighty-nine portraits are extant
from a dozen different cities, and then we come down to eight
pictures taken in 1845, four only in 1846, and four only in
the next three years.
72 The History of Silhouettes
The reason for this falling off in numbers is so extra-
ordinary that we give it in continuing Edouart's life-story.
It is probable that the artist was just as industrious during
the last five years of his tour in America as he had been in
the first four, but his work is destroyed.
In December, 1849, he packed all his folios in great cases,
and set out for home, sailing in the ship " Oneida," laden with
bales of Maryland cotton. When off the coast of Guernsey she
was caught in a great gale, and was wrecked in Vazon Bay
on December 2ist. The crew and passengers were saved and
some of the baggage; a case, containing fourteen of the precious
folios, some old letters and list-books, was saved ; all the rest
was lost, with much of the cargo, when the ship broke up
two days after she had gone on the rocks.
Edouart suffered much from exposure, for he was then an
old man, and the loss of the greater part of his life's work
so preyed upon his mind that he never again practised his
profession. The Lukis family, resident at Guernsey, hospitably
entertained the old artist, and he gave his remaining volumes,
fourteen in number, containing his European collection and his
American portraits, to Frederica Lukis before he left for Guines,
near Calais, where he died in 1861, in his seventy-third year.
The writer was fortunately enabled to secure these volumes
through the medium of The Connoisseur Magazine, and has
included illustrations from them in the present work.
A Royal Cutter and her Work.
jiN the Georgian days the cutting of animals, landscapes,
groups, and single profiles was the fashionable pastime
of a large number of amateurs. Girl-friends cut for
each other mementos in black paper or in white ;
these were then gummed on to a black or coloured ground.
They vied with each other in cutting some clever little piece
of scissor-work, which, for safe storage, would be placed in an
album or scrap-book. Sometimes the little cutting is found
gummed in amongst tiny steel engravings, some Bartolozzi
tickets, a treasured sheet of music, or wreaths and scraps of
faded flowers. The fragrance of such a collection does not lie
only in the shrivelled rose or violet leaves ; there is an aroma
of sentiment, a reminder of those past days when everyone had
leisure and the polite elegances of the little arts had full sway.
The cuttings usually show groups of children, reminding us
of Buck's work of contemporary date; or of animals, sometimes
alone, and sometimes set in a landscape of such elaboration
that one wonders how so great an effect can be packed into
the two square inches of paper, which is often the size of
the complete silhouette picture. It would be unusual to find so
much and such accurate detail in a pen-and-ink drawing; the
fact that the picture is cut out with a pair of scissors or a
penknife makes it the more extraordinary.
Many professional portrait cutters also cut landscapes,
animals, groups of flowers, and other trifles, notably Patience
Wright, who accomplished much fine work of this kind, as well
as her lovely portraits.
74 The History of Silhouettes
J. Gapp, who worked on the Chain Pier at Brighton,
advertised pieces suitable for ladies' scrap-books. At the end
of his trade label are the following words : " N.B. A variety
of interesting small cuttings for ladies' scrap-books." The label
from which we take the words is on a full-length profile
portrait of a boy in the old Eton School dress.
Much black shade cutting was done at the Court of
George III., both in profile portraiture and also in fancy groups
and landscapes. Queen Charlotte was an ardent collector, and
delighted to have her own portrait taken in shadow, if we can
judge by the very large number of pictures of this type which
have come down to us. King George III. was no less enthusiastic,
and must have sat to every profilist of the day, both professional
and amateur. In most of these silhouette portraits the vitality
is clearly seen in this " German Princelet of his day," as Lord
Rosebery's inimitable description has it. The character of the
Princelet is as plain to see as if the veritable embodiment of
His Majesty were before us, and not alone his shadow picture.
We can imagine that the whole of the Court entourage
would feel or assume an interest in the pastime beloved of the
royal mistress, the king, and their artistic daughters, whose
story one thinks of with mingled feelings of sympathy and
interest. Their fair faces on the canvases of Gainsborough,
Hoppner, and Beechey haunt us as they gaze from the walls of
the royal residences. How each of the six girls must have
thought of the suitors which were so long in coming 1 Their
graceful and gracious young days sped away, only half filled by
the mild excitements of Court life, with their embroidery, their
pencil, brush, and scissor work, cutting the portrait of Fanny
Burney, or admiring the family group of the Burney family,
and imitating with their amateur scissor-work the elegant
curtains and tassels of the professional cutter's background.
Perhaps they showed their efforts to Mrs. Delany, who was
living so near to them at Windsor, and had herself been cut by
a professional profilist with so great success the dainty goffered
cap with its becoming chin-strap, and a love-knot and wreath
are beneath the picture. Did their parents dread the unstable
glories of Continental courts for their girls in those revolutionary
days? The prudent Queen Charlotte would shudder to think of
a repetition of the disastrous Danish marriage of her husband's
young sister, and King George would try to shield his golden-
haired girls from such a loveless match as that of his eldest
sister, Augusta, to the Duke of Brunswick.
It was Princess Elizabeth, born May 22nd, 1770, whose
artistic talents were most marked ; she studied with her pencil
and brush under various masters until she attained great
proficiency. There is a charming portrait of her painted by
Edridge, engraved in mezzotint by S. W. Reynolds, Engraver
to the King. She is shown pencil in hand, her sketch-book
on her knee ; her turban, which would be of correct fashion
for the present day, only half hides her fair curled hair. Her
diaphanous gown is not specially becoming to her ample shape,
already showing signs of the enormous proportions she
afterwards attained. Fine octagon-shaped brooches adorn her
sleeves and breast, a thin scarf is laid over her chair, and on
the writing bureau is a work basket, flower vase, and inkstand.
The dedication of the picture runs thus : " Her Royal
Highness the Landgravine of Hesse Homburg, dedicated
by Permission to His Most Gracious Majesty, William IV.,
by His Majesty's devoted Subject and Servant, Edward
Harding, Librarian to Her Late Gracious Majesty Queen
Charlotte, May 2ist, 1830." Published by E. Hardy, 13,
Rochester Terrace, Pimlico.
It was long after irreverent courtiers had ceased to think
76 The History of Silhouettes
of the princess as anything but a confirmed spinster that the
Prince of Hesse Homburg, of whose person and manners the
caustic Creevy paints a very unattractive picture, appeared on
the scene, and considerable mirth greeted the news of her
engagement at the mature age of 47. The fact that the princess
was severely criticised by a censorious world for quitting her aged
and dying mother, and that as Landgravine of Hesse Homburg
her good qualities were displayed to great advantage, do not
concern us here, where we are chiefly concerned in her industry
and artistic talents. These were evidently more marked in her
than in any other member of her family, and we have read
that many of her silhouettes were engraved and published, but
we have not been able to trace any of these reproductions.
That the small and very charming single figures or groups
were frequently given as souvenirs is certain, for on a
specimen we have examined there is an inscription, " H.R.H.
Princess Elizabeth was pleased to give me (Lady Bankes) at
Windsor, August 2yth, 1811, where I had the honour of seeing
her by chance."
Lady Dorothy Nevill is the owner of a most interesting
relic of this favourite pastime of a royal princess. It is the
original scrap-book given by Princess Elizabeth to her friend,
and is filled with every variety of cutting executed by the
princess herself. The book is of dark blue morocco leather,
9 inches by 6 inches in size. On its silver lock and clasp is the
initial of the royal donor, and between the pages are the little
gem cuttings, a selection of which we are able to reproduce
here. Many varieties of silhouette cutting are shown ; none of
the specimens are gummed into the book, or, if they have been,
the mucilage has perished. Faint pencil notes head the pages,
and the cuttings are placed separately between the leaves.
Some of the groups are cut out in black paper ; some,
notably the shadow perforation type, are in white paper ; and
some are painted in Indian ink and then cut out. The groups
of children playing are most animated ; there is real movement
in the baby toddling downstairs held by ribbon strings by
The portraits of Queen Charlotte and King George III.,
the parents of the artist, are naturally of great interest. These
have a note on the page in which they lie that they were
taken in the year 1792. They are drawn in Indian ink, and
not cut, and those who have had occasion to examine the
profiles of the king and queen will at once see that Princess
Elizabeth was proficient in catching a likeness. There are two
other bust portraits of George III. in this interesting scrap-
book, and a full-length picture in black profile, in which the stiff
coat-tails and dangling court sword or rapier are admirably
The cutting of the shadow perforation pictures seem to have
been an agreeable variety in scissor-work. These strange
silhouettes were so cut that, on holding a light at a particular
angle behind the picture, a shadow was cast by it which
resembled some special character or object group. Thus the
head of Christ is thrown in shadow upon any white surface
when the strange-looking mask is held up between the candle
and the board ; the child on the rocking-horse is arranged for
the same effect, which thus reverses the shadow portraiture of
In the Victoria and Albert Museum there is a large portfolio
with examples of scissor-work and black portraiture. Amongst
the specimens are many of the perforated shadow-throwing type,
some well-known pictures being thus reproduced. They were
bequeathed by the Rev. Chauncey Hare Townshend, and consist
of shadow and silhouette pictures and portraits "done by
7^ The History of Silhouettes
C. H. Townshend and his family." This donor also bequeathed
many paintings to the Museum. Little groups, such as " A Child
and a Goat," " Children Playing," " A Lady holding up a Child,"
give glimpses into the domestic scenes it was considered pleasing
to portray in silhouette. Some of these are done by Charlotte
Townshend ; some by other members of the family. There is
no very great interest attaching to these amiable records of a
" Copied by Mrs. Wigston from Lady Templetown's designs "
gives us an insight into the part played by those not sufficiently
skilful to originate but who, by copying, could take their share
in the fashionable pastime.
The late Andrew W. Tuer, who was keenly interested in the
subject of silhouettes, wrote thus in Notes and Queries concerning
silhouettes of children : " Much should I like to know who
designed and cut out in black paper a remarkably clever series
of about eighty minute silhouettes of child life, mainly groups.
They are loosely placed in a book of blank leaves bound in
contemporary citron morocco, lettered on the front ' M. G.' To
some the artist has written a verse, and to others a date the
earliest 1796, the latest 1806. Inferentially, the work is that
of gentlefolk. Between two of the leaves is a piece of black
paper, on the reverse or white side being written 'J. Poulett,
Twickenham, Middlesex,' and on another piece of paper the
name 'Lucy' is cut out in silhouette."
Later Mr. Tuer wrote : " From the Earl Poulett I gather
that these interesting and clever silhouettes were probably the
handiwork of the first wife, whose initials were A. L., of the
fourth Earl Poulett, of Poulett Lodge, Twickenham. What the
initials M. G. stand for his lordship does not know.
"ANDREW W. TUER.
"The Leadenhall Press, E.G."
Though more a note-book than a scrap-book, an interesting
relic of the laborious methods of Lavater must be mentioned
here. This volume, which is one of the chief treasures of the
Wellesley collection, is a small leather-bound book, in which the
philosopher pasted the silhouette portraits of those persons whose
heads he wished to measure, study, and compare with others in
his collection, and then to pronounce judgment upon as to their
mental and moral qualities. The fact that Goethe was for a
time enthusiastic with regard to Lavater's work casts a glamour
over the little book, with its many pictures and vast store of
minutely written notes.
Another album, which is also in Mr. Wellesley's collection,
is most elaborate. Each page has a finely wrought border, in
the centre of which is pasted the silhouette portrait of a friend ;
the male sex is largely in the majority, but a few women's
profiles are included. We cannot imagine a more charming
souvenir of an interesting circle of friends than such a shadow
pageant. Old comrades would be brought to remembrance
through the extraordinarily vivid personal touch that the
silhouette picture retains; friends almost forgotten seem to rise
up in the memory as we handle their black profile portrait,
for there is a direct appeal in outline, which is more profound
than when contour blurs the recollection.
In examining such a collection, one cannot help being
interested in the very great variety of wigs no two are alike;
long and short queues, large and small ribbons, coquettish curls,
majestic rolls, are shown amongst the men's profiles, till we are
bewildered with the variety, and cease to wonder that all kinds
of fanciful names were given by the beaux of the day to the
special hair-dressing they affected.
No less remarkable is the head-dressing of the ladies, and
the elaboration of the curls and coifs is only eclipsed by the
8o The History of Silhouettes
intricacy of the flowers, feathers, bows of ribbon gauze and
taffeta with which the great erections are garnished. Even
when there is no gilt pencilling to throw up the detail, the effect
is marvellously interesting ; and, for this reason alone, the old
black shadow collections make a very absorbing study.
An extraordinarily interesting collection of upwards of one
hundred and fifty is in a narrow folio volume in paper cover,
dated 1804. Religious processions and ceremonies, rural
and domestic scenes and children's games, are cut with the
utmost delicacy and mounted on white paper. Here are a few
of the subjects : Carrying the Host to a sick person at Nice ;
Cleaning Shoes in Paris ; Drinking the Waters at Wiesbaden ;
Gathering Apples near Paris ; Sprinkling Clothes at Bergen ;
Procession on Palm Sunday ; Procession of the Virgin Mary ;
Jewish Wedding ; The Pope carried round St. Peter's ; A Fish-
market ; Wine-making ; and a dozen other complicated scenes.
All are depicted with wonderful accuracy. This important
collection has now unfortunately left England.
Another interesting little scrap-book of yellow paper, bound in
calf, contains the portraits of the King (George III.); Edw.
King, Esq. ; Mrs. King ; Mrs. Carter, the translator of Epictetus ;
Tiberius Cavallo, Esq. ; Mrs. Fiere, mother of the Rt. Hon.
S. H. Fiere ; Baron Rechausen, Swedish Minister ; Madame
Rechausen ; two favourites ; Miss H. Randall ; Warren Hastings,
Esq., Governor-General of India ; General Paoli. Some of these
are in Indian ink, some in cut paper.
SILHOUETTE PORTRAIT OF A MAN
By A.. Forbergw, Paris, Signed and dated 1791
SILHOUETTE DECORATION ON PORCELAIN AND GLASS.
THE SILHOUETTE THEATRE.
the oldest type of black profile representation is
undoubtedly connected with the decoration of pottery,
it is not to be wondered at that when silhouette-making
by brush, pencil, or scissors was at the height of
its popularity, a return should be made in style to the
antique. The porcelain and glass makers ornamented their
work in silhouette, sometimes in the modern form, when the
head and neck would be shown, generally in black upon
white china, but also in a few instances in black upon a
reddish terra-cotta colour, when the full figure would be given
in the Greek style, and designs more or less elaborate would be
I as borders, notably, the key pattern, so usually associated
with Greek art, though, as a matter of fact, such patterns appear
m all Oriental decoration. A Vienna factory, and also some of the
French factories of the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the
uneteenth century, made objects with the reddish ground Sil-
houette porcelain was not infrequently made for private individuals
such, for example, as the specimen owned by Dr A Figdor of
Vienna. A female head painted in black is surrounded by a wreath
of forget-me-nots in colour, and on the back is the inscription
In remembrance of your affectionate grandmother M J C " A
fine cup and saucer is in the collection at Carnavalet in Paris
amongst those pieces which are associated with the Revolution'
Within a frame of olive or laurel, is the silhouette of Mirabeau'
with the name printed below. There is a beautiful tray belonging
Mr. FitzHenry, of French manufacture. This shows the silhouette
82 The History of Silhouettes
portrait at its best, in gold, as centre ornament. Wreaths of
ribbon garlands and pierced ornament make this fine piece
specially attractive. Besides these individual pieces, specially
ordered for special occasions, there are the pieces of silhouette
china ornamented with portraits of the king or of the reigning
family. In Mr. Wellesley's collection there is a mug with a
portrait of George IV. rather coarsely done, and we have
examined some custard cups with lids, which were also English.
At the Worcester and Bristol factories such painting was done,
though usually less elaborately than at some of the German
porcelain factories. There is an exception, however, in the very
fine vase shown in our illustration. This is in the possession of
Mr. Spink, and was made at Worcester. It stands thirteen-
and-a-half inches high, and its elaborate decoration in gold
and colour is extremely effective. The wide band above the
portrait is of chocolate colour, with pencillings of gold in a
Greek design ; blue, green, and brown figure on other parts
of the vase, and the lid has a gold knob. The black profile
of the king has a band round it, on which are the words,
" Health and prosperity attend His Majesty."
At Knole there are several beautiful Worcester vases with
silhouettes of George III. and a remarkable breakfast service
of German workmanship. This is complete, and gives the
different portraits of the reigning royal family. Even more
elaborate are two vases also connected with royalty ; they
were evidently made for centre-pieces when a special dinner
service was used. There are no silhouette portraits on the
plates and dishes, but on the two splendidly ornamental
vases, which match in decoration, there are profiles of the King
and Queen of Sweden respectively. These fine examples are
in Copenhagen porcelain ; swags of flowers in high relief show
up well on the white ground. Cupids ornament the lids and
Silhouette Decoration 83
hold as a shield gold-framed medallions, where, on a rose-
coloured ground, the silhouettes show with excellent effect. These
vases stand sixteen inches in height.
Amongst the German examples there is a good specimen from
Wallenstein with a silhouette portrait of Frederick the Great in
a frame of laurel picked out in gold. In the Hohenzollern
Museum at Monbijou Castle there is a large service entirely
decorated in this way. Teapots and cream-jugs, basins, sugar
and slop bowls, and coffee-cups, all are complete, and six female
and three male heads appear, all being members of the Royal
Family. Frederick the Great is on the coffee-pot.
Undoubtedly such ware was made for presentation. We can
well imagine the special pleasure in a gift which has this very
personal touch ; the royal attribute of picture presentation must
have been most acceptable when the useful service became the
Not only did the silhouette cast its glamour over the
porcelain makers, but glass manufacturers also utilized the fashion
for the original decoration of their wares. Dr. Strauss, of Berlin,
owns a remarkable glass with a well-cut shank, which shows the
head and shoulders of a woman, with the inscription, " With
best wishes for your welfare, your faithful wife presents you
with this. L. W. V. R., August 6th, 1795." The silhouette is in
gold, and is done by means of a curious process practised by
one Glomi, and called after him Eglomis6, though the method
was known and utilized long before his time ; in fact, as early
as the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, this etching in gold
between glass was done. Fine specimens, usually cups, goblets,
and chalices, for the use of the Church, enrich our museums.
The process is thus described by Larousse in the Nouveau
art. Larousse, "Nouveau Dictionnaire" Tom. 4.
glomis, ee. (de Glomi, n. pr.) adj.
84 The History of Silhouettes
Se dit d'un objet en verre dcor au moyen d'une dorure interieure, suivant
le proce"de" de 1'encadreur Glomi, qui parait en avoir 6t6 1'inventeur au XVIII'
Encycl. Les verres e'glomise's sont ces petits tableaux dont le sujet est peint
sur le verre meme qui les recouvre. On fait un frequent usage de ses petits
panneaux ou de ces lentilles pour former des dessus de bonbonnieres, etc.
Ordinairement, le trace" est fait a la pointe, sur une feuille d'or fixe au vernis
sur le verre. Le mot "^glomise"" a 6t6 invente", en 1825, par l'arche"ologue
Carrand et applique" par lui aussi bien aux verres modernes de"cores suivant la
me'thode de Glomi qu'aux objets beaucoup plus anciens, datant du plus haut
moyen age, oil la feuille d'or est soudee au feu entre deux pellicules de verre.
The work was done on one glass, and another was made
to literally enclose the finely etched gold lines, so that no
harm could come to the decoration. Delicate landscapes as
well as figures and portrait busts are done, and the glass is
found coloured as well as clear white. There is a fine example
in the Imperial Austrian Museum at Vienna, in which the
silhouette in gold of a man appears with the inscription,
" P. Ferdinand Karl, Professi Hilariensis. Mildner fee. a
In the Glass Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum,
and at the British Museum, there are very fine specimens.
At the former there is a drinking glass specially worthy of
note. It is of tumbler shape, 3^ inches by 2f inches, and is
formed of two layers of glass, one of which is etched in gold
leaf, with a group of St. George and the Dragon, foliated
scrolls, festoons, and arabesques. The bottom is coloured red
and etched in gold, with the sacred monogram I.H.S., and
the legend, " Benedictine sit nomen Domini." The outside is
cut in facets. This example is German early eighteenth century.
Wonderfully vivid hunting scenes are shown in gold-
silhouette on an example of sixteenth-century work owned by
Mr. FitzHenry ; while black silhouette work of Nuremberg
manufacture is painted in black with flowers and sacred
Silhouette Decoration 85
emblems. Besides the gold ornamented glass, there was also a
good deal made in the same way but decorated in very dark
brown or black. Hunting scenes, elaborately sketched with the
minutest detail in tree, hound, and huntsman, often figure on
A volume on the silhouette in all its aspects would be
incomplete without some reference to the use which, from
earliest times, has been made of shadowgraphy to represent
isolated scenes, and also complete plays on the stage.
In Paris, in 1771, the celebrated Theatre Seraphin was
founded by Seraphin Dominique Francois, who opened his little
theatre for shadowgraphy alone, in the gardens at Versailles.
Slight and dainty were the plays, and we can imagine
the silk-clad audience in powder and patches who would come
with the children, or with no excuse at all, to amuse them-
selves at the antics performed in this shadowland. Little they
cared for the real shadows of the terrible Revolution which
were already gathering as they applauded the silhouettes of
" Venez gardens, venez fillettes,
Voir Momus a la silhouette."
Twenty-six years later, after the stormy days of the Revolution,
marionettes were added to the attraction of Chinese shadow-
graphy, which still lingers in the magic-lantern shows of
For the palmy days of the silhouette theatre we must look
a long way down the centuries, and the recent astounding find
of a large collection of ancient figures used in the shadow
plays of old Egypt enables us to actually see how the Egyptian
figures looked and how they worked. The history of their
discovery by Dr. Paul Kahle in one of the villages of the Delta
is a fascinating one, too long for these pages, but the signs
86 The History of Silhouettes
and proofs of antiquity are complete. The coats of arms of
the Mamelukes used in the thirteenth century are used as
ornaments, and the leather, of which the human figures, ships,
and birds are made, is cleverly cut, so that a mosaic of richer
colouring is visible.
In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries there are renowned
actors in the shadow theatre, and even as early as the eleventh
century performances are mentioned. The stage was formed by
a thin sheet, behind which there was a strong light, and the
figures were moved with two sticks fastened in the middle of
In Java legendary history is taught by means of itinerant
silhouette shows. These figures are also of leather, from
eighteen inches to two feet in height. They are moved by
means of horn sticks ; they were in existence before Mahomet-
anism came to the island. In China silhouette plays always
represent a priest of Buddha as the central figure, and he is
made to dance in imitation of the movements made in the
performance of religious rites.
On the night of the festival of Diwali in India men exhibit a
huge cylindrical paper lantern, over the sides of which shadow
figures pass in succession, so that Gonard's lamp in the Palais
Royal, that was decorated with silhouettes to guide his clients
to his salon, might have come straight from the East.
Special plays for performance on the stage of the shadow
theatre were published as late as 1850, written some years
before by Brentano for the amusement of his family, for
shadowgraphy was often practised in the middle-class houses.
Pocci also wrote a play for the shadow theatre, and Henri
Riviere produced the " Prodigal Child " and the " March to
the Star," both shadow tableaux rather than plays, arranged
in seven elaborate scenes.
ALPHABETICAL LIST OF
SILHOUETTISTS, MAKERS OF SILHOUETTE MOUNTS,
AND OTHERS CONNECTED WITH THE CRAFT.
N attempting this the first list which has ever appeared
of silhouette artists, apology must be made for
inevitable omissions. Since commencing it six years
ago, obscure examples have been found which give the
names of unknown painters or cutters, possibly amateurs, who
have left no other sign of their work except this ghost of the
past. Sometimes a rare specimen has been the means of adding
to the list of silhouettists a man or woman already well known
in some other branch of artistic work, such as Dicky Doyle
and the late Phil May, examples owned by Mr. Desmond Coke.
It is well known that while the fashion for shadow
portraiture lasted, many artists used the method but did not
sign their work, thinking perhaps that this passing mode
was not one altogether worthy of their reputation in other
branches. It is the exception rather than the rule for silhouettes
to be signed, whatever the process chosen. Connoisseurs are
enabled by careful study to recognise at a glance examples
of well-known silhouettists, such as Miers, Rosenberg, Mrs.
Beetham, or Edouart, by their treatment of hair or some slight
characteristic touch ; but as a rule the shadow pageant passes
before us nameless, elusive. We hope to rescue from final
obscurity some of the names of the lesser men, and perhaps
the list, however incomplete, may help owners to identify the
originals of these shadow sitters of the past. When possible,
dates of birth and death are given ; but often only a single
date is available that when the portrait was taken. In many
cases the advertisement at the back of the frame gives us the
88 The History of Silhouettes
desired information ; but comparatively few examples are still in
the original frames provided by the artist. Even if the frame has
not been changed, the glass may have been broken, rendering the
opening of the back necessary for renewal, with destruction to
the trade label. Beneath a second covering, for dust-proof
purposes, it is sometimes possible to find a name, but each
year the chances of the preservation of such clues is lessening.
The author will be glad to have information sent to her in
order to add further information in view of a later edition
of her work.
It has been thought advisable for purposes of reference to
arrange the names in alphabetical rather than chronological
order. As the methods of silhouetting in different countries
do not vary to any large extent, and as most of the workers
travelled widely, so that, for example, Hubard, though an
Englishman, did much of his work in America, and August
Edouart, a Frenchman,' is best known in the British Isles
and the United States, the artists have not been grouped
according to their nationality, nor with regard to their mode
of work. The alphabetical order seemed on the whole to be the
ACKERMAN. Published a sheet of silhouettes of children
playing in groups, about 1830.
ADAM, J., Vienna. Engraved mounts for silhouettes.
ADOLPHE. Signature on silhouette of George IV. in black
ink, gold on hair and rings, xxm. Advertisement on a signed
portrait of Lady John Townshend, 1840, in the National Portrait
Gallery. "The Origin of Profiles, sketched by Mons. Adolphe,
Portrait, Animal, Miniature and Profile Painter, 113, St. James's
Street, Brighton." Then follow verses commencing
'"Twas love, 'twas all inspiring love 'tis said,
Directed first a female hand to trace."
ALDOUS. On the silhouette portrait of his late Royal
Highness Frederick Duke of York is written, " Drawn on stone
by Mr. Aldous."
ANTHING, F. (1783-1800). One of the finest painters of
silhouettes. Volume of 100 silhouettes of his notable personages
was published (see Bibliography). Three large silhouettes by
this artist were exhibited at the Berlin Exhibition. Worked
in St. Petersburg.
ASMUS, HILDEGARD. Cut genre subjects in black paper.
ATKINSON, G. (1815). Lived at Windsor. Was called
Silhouettist to the Royal Family. A large group of George III.
and his sons, cut in black paper and touched with gold, was
exhibited at the Royal Amateur Art Society's Exhibition in
1911. Owner: G. Sharland, Esq. xxxvu.
AYRER, GEORG FREDERICK. Late eighteenth century. Did
much of his work at Lausanne. Of him was written by Madame
Weston (n&e Bry) in 1778: "Tous les talents meritent qu'on
les prise. Le votre est amusant joli interessant. En le per-
fectionnant vous rendez inutile qu'au bas de vos portraits on
ecreVe son nom."
BAUSER, M. (1779). Head of a man published in Germany in
a book of operettas (see Bibliography).
BEAUMONT. Signature on portrait of Ed. Copleston, D.D.,
BECKMAN, JOHANNA. Fine foliage work, black paper. Modern.
BEETHAM, MRS. (1785), 27, Fleet Street. Painted on card,
plaster, and convex glass, sometimes filled with wax. Jewel
examples of her work are rare one brooch in the Wellesley
collection, one owned by Mrs. Head. Mrs. Beetham's work is
very fine ; ribbon gauze and hair are done with great taste and
dexterity. Her advertisement on an example in the possession
9 The History of Silhouettes
of her descendant, Dr. Beetham, runs thus : " Profiles in miniature
by Mrs. Beetham, No. 27, Fleet St., 1785." x., xi., XLIX.
BETTS. Made a " newly-invented machine " for reducing the
BLACKBURN, J. (1850), King Street, Manchester.
BLUM (1795). Cut silhouette portraits for the Annalen der
neueren theologischen Literatur in Kirchengeschichte, 7th vol., 1795.
BLY. Cut silhouettes in black paper at the West Pier,
Brighton. Present day.
BOCKTON. On portrait of Sir Wm. Wynne Knight, LL.D.,
Dean of the Arches and Judge of the Prerogative Court of
Canterbury. " Mr. Bockton, his Proctor, took his resemblance
as he sat giving judgment."
BOHLER, DR. OTTO, Vienna. Cut twenty-one silhouettes of
musicians and others, which have been reproduced. He is
considered by Herr Julius Leisching to be one of the best modern
BOUVIER, J. Signature on the portrait of the Right Hon.
Sir R. Peel, Bart., M.P., showing the New Exchange, Glasgow,
in the background. Published by Wm. Spooner, 377, Strand.
Lithograph in the National Portrait Gallery.
BRANDES, MINNA. Born 1765, in Berlin. A girl's head thus
named, probably herself, done by some silhouettist of the day,
appears in the operettas published in Germany in 1799 (see
BRETTANER, BARBARA (1721). Parchment cutter.
BROWN, Miss. Said to have cut Gibbons's profile without
BROWN, WILLIAM HENRY. Born May 22nd, 1808, in Charles-
town, South Carolina. Itinerated in the United States. He cut
mostly full-length portraits, and called his studio the Brown
Silhouettists 9 1
Gallery in whatever town he worked. A book was published
with twelve silhouettes by him, mostly full-lengths with elaborate
backgrounds, also facsimile autograph letters of the people whose
portraits are given (for full title of book, see Bibliography).
BRUCE, I., 85, Farringdon Street ; and 3, Somerset Place,
Brighton. Signature on a series of early nineteenth-century
portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, which include Lord
John Russell and William IV.
BURMESTER (1770). Court silhouettist in Berlin.
CAPUCHIN, F. AGATHAUGDUS BONNENSIS. Signature on fine
cut paper ; ornament with bishop's arms.
CHARLES, 130, Strand. Worked with pen and Indian ink;
sometimes he used colour on the dress. A signed specimen of
Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire, and one of Fanny Burney,
owned by Mr. Wellesley; others owned by Mr. Leslie and Mr.
F. G. Rowson. In his advertisement, which bears an engraved
head on the label, he describes himself as " the first profilist in
England," 138, Strand. XL, xv., xix.
CLARKE, W. (1781), of Newcastle. Painted on plaster. Label
on an example in the Wellesley collection.
COOPER. Signature on portrait of a man painted on card
in red brown touched with gold. Date 1833. At Knole.
Coos (1782). Signature on woman's profile portrait on
gold glass background; in the collection at Knole. xxi.
CURTIS, ELEANOR PARK (1779-1852), step-daughter of
Washington, first President U.S.A., whose silhouette she cut at
Mount Vernon in 1798. This portrait is bust size, looking right.
DEINVEL, F. Silhouettes cut out of paper blackened with
Indian ink, the hair, lace, and other ornaments being added with
the pen on the mount; engraved mounts sometimes used.
DEMPSEY. " Profilist. Established No. 30, Manchester Street.
Likenesses in shade, 3d. ! Bronzed, 6d. I I Coloured, 2s. 6d.
92 The History of Silhouettes
Observe it is Dempsey's." Advertisement label on two full-length
men's portraits with painted sepia background. Owner : Mr.
DENON, DOMINIQUE. Medallist, engraver, silhouettist. Born
Chalon-sur-Saone, died in Paris. He accompanied Napoleon
to Egypt. His silhouettes are mounted with elaborate borders.
DESFONEAUX, T. E.
DEWEY (1800). Name on silhouette of Ambrose Clarke, in
the possession of Mrs. Wm. A. Fisher, U.S.A.
DEYVERDUNS. Eighteenth-century silhouettist.
DIEFENBACH. Cut genre pictures in black paper. Present day.
DIETERS, HANS. Silhouette cutter, nineteenth century. A fine
portrait of Bismarck, with two of the great hounds named after
him, is used as an illustration in "The Revival of the Silhouette."
DOHREN, JOCOB VON, Hamburg. Reduplication of silhouettes ;
process mentioned in book on Bon Magic (see Bibliography).
DUMPLE. Advertisement label on an example in the Wellesley
EBERLE, CONSTANCE, Briinn. Cut silhouettes.
ECKART. A labouring man of Berlin ; his clever silhouette
cutting was brought to the notice of the public by Werkmeister.
EDOUART, AUGUST. Born 1789, died 1861 ; a Frenchman.
Served under Napoleon, and was decorated. He married
Mademoiselle Vital, and during the political crisis came to
England. Cut silhouettes in doubled black paper; itinerated in
the large towns in England and on the Continent. He kept
books of duplicates which contained upwards of 100,000 portraits ;
these included the French Royal Family taken at Holyrood,
hundreds of the gentry and nobility of Great Britain, besides
professional men, statesmen, politicians, and almost every man
and woman of note of his time. He wrote a treatise on
silhouettes (see Bibliography), a demy octavo volume with many
illustrations, which is now very rare. When upwards of fifty
years of age, Edouart went to America, and while there cut
the portraits of presidents, soldiers, sailors, senators, and famous
men and women in the States. In 1849 the ship " Oneida,"
on which the artist returned, was wrecked, and many of his
valuable volumes of duplicates were lost. Some 9,000 portraits,
however, in fourteen volumes, were saved, and form a remarkable
collection of the celebrities of his day (see chapter on " Edouart
and his Book"), iv., v., vi., vn., xv., xxiv., xxv., xxvn., xxxvn.,
XXXVIII., XL., XLL, XLIII., XLIV., XLVIIL, L., LVII., LX., LXIV.
EDWARDS, E. C. (1824). Name on silhouette of Thomas
Coke, of Holkham, afterwards Earl of Leicester. From a drawing
made at Holkham.
EDWIN, HENRY. Silhouettist of the second half of the
nineteenth century. Cut the portraits of Lords Iddesleigh,
Tennyson, and Salisbury, Mr. Gladstone, and many other famous
men. A small paper book was published with a few of his
ELIZABETH, PRINCESS, xiu., xxxiv., xxxv., xxxvi., LXII., LXIV.
FERPELL (1837). Signature on a sheet of five engraved sil-
houettes at Knole. The portraits are of the Duke and Duchess
of Dorset, of the eighteenth century, and their three children.
FIELD, J. Born 1771, died 1841, at Molesey. Painted in black
on glass, plaster, and card ; nearly always pencilled with gold.
He was for many years in partnership with Miers, when the
names Miers & Field appear on the label. Afterwards, " J. Field,
n, Strand, late of the firm of Miers & Field," is found on the
backs of his fine portraits. Thus: " J. Field, Profilist to their
Majesties, and H.R.H. the Princess Augusta, No. 2, Strand,
London, two doors east from Northumberland House. Upwards
of thirty years sole profile painter, and late of the firm of
Miers & Field. Continues to execute his long approved
94 The History of Silhouettes
likenesses, combining expression and character with accuracy of
finish, so as to give the most pleasing resemblance, for
frames, cases, frontispieces for library works, and even in minute
size for bracelets, brooches, lockets. Time of sitting, three
minutes. Mr. F. preserves all the original shades, by which he
can at any time furnish copies, if required, without the necessity
of a second sitting. Copies correctly taken from profile busts.
Miniature frames and cases of every description manufactured
by H. W. Field ; also jewellery and seal engraving." This
label is on a portrait of himself by J. Field, in the possession
of his great-grandson, vin., ix., x., xxu.
FINKENTSCHER, OTTO. Cut silhouettes, chiefly animals.
FIRTH, FREDERICK. Cut silhouettes, which are generally
pencilled with gold. Advertisement in the possession of
Mrs. Wadmore : " The nobility, gentry, and inhabitants of Tun-
bridge Wells are respectfully informed that Master Firth will
remain but one week longer in this town. Those ladies and
gentlemen who have not yet completed their family sets are
requested to make early application. That extraordinary talented
youth, Master Firth, who has been the astonishment of all
lovers of the fine arts, will exercise his ingenious and interesting
profession for one week longer in this town, next door to the
Ladies' Bazaar, Parade, etc. His prices A plain bust, is. ;
duplicate of ditto, 6d. A bust in gold bronze or shaded, with
drapery, 2s. 6d. Whole-length figure in plain black, 2s. 6d. ;
ditto, duplicate of ditto, is. 6d. ; ditto, very highly finished, 2s. 6d.
The much-admired coloured profiles, IDS. 6d. Whole-length
figure in bronze or shaded, with drapery, developing every
characteristic peculiarity of hair, dress, etc., 55. 6d."
FOLWELL, S. Signature on a portrait of George
Washington, 1791. Painted on card.
FORBERGER, A. (1795), Paris. Painted on glass, gold lined.
A memorial silhouette is in the Wellesley collection. (See
FOSTER, EDWARD WARD. Born in Derby 1761, died 1864.
Described on his trade label as from London. In 1811 he was at
Mr. Abbott's, Trimmer, Friar Gate. Most of Foster's work is in
sanguine reddish colour, painted on card. There is often a
minute diaper pattern of stars on the dresses of women and
children ; occasionally greens and blue tints greatly enhance the
beauty of his silhouettes. His signature is rare. Occasionally it
is found written minutely, as on the portrait of the Countess of
Blessington in the collection at Knole, Sevenoaks. His name
is occasionally embossed in the brass ornamental ring of the
FOWLER. On signed portrait of George III., with minute
writing forming ornamental lines.
FRANCOIS. French silhouette cutter of the present day.
Worked at Earl's Court Exhibition, 1911.
FRANKLIN. Worked in the Thames Tunnel. Early nineteenth
FRERE, J. Signature on painted silhouette portrait of a man,
white collar and stock, in the possession of the author.
FROHLICH, KARL, of Berlin. Cut silhouettes after drawing.
GABILLON, Vienna. Illustrated "Puss in Boots" in silhouette,
1876-1877 (see Bibliography).
GAPP, J. (1829), Brighton. Worked on the Chain Pier.
Label on full-length cut portrait of a boy, in the collection of
the author. " Daily at the Third Tower on the Chain Pier.
Full length, 2s. 6d. ; bronze, 45. ; on horseback, 75. 6d. ;
horses, 55. ; dogs, is. 6d. ; small cuttings for scrap-books."
Sala in his " Brighton as I have known it " writes : " Old Chain
Pier cabins, where they took portraits known as silhouettes,
9 6 The History of Silhouettes
which were profiles, cut out apparently of black sticking plaster,
stuck on pieces of card." XLI.
GEIGNER, FRANZ. Born 1749, died 1841. Cut silhouettes
with indented outline.
GIBBS, H. Painted on glass, plaster and card. " H.
Gibbs, profilist," on the back of a portrait of a woman in
Empire dress, painted on glass with wax filling. Owner, the
author. " H. Gibbs, profile painter, Queen Street, Ranelagh,
Chelsea," on silhouette painted on card, black profile, blue coat,
yellow buttons. At Knole, Sevenoaks.
GIBBS, M. Painting on glass, white relief, card back. Early
" M. G." Signature on book of silhouettes of children
mentioned in Notes and Queries.
GILLESPIE, J. H. (1793). "Likenesses drawn in one minute
by J. H. Gillespie, profile painter," on three painted silhouettes
owned by Mrs. Whitmore, Bromley. Greyish black with dead
black lines, white relief. LIV.
GNESIENAN, FRAU VON.
GODFREY, W. F. Label on the portrait of a woman painted
on convex glass in possession of the author. The face is black,
the dress white, gold earrings and a tortoiseshell comb in her
hair. "W. F. Godfrey announces to the nobility and gentry
of this town and its vicinity, that he executes likenesses in
profile shadow in a style particularly striking and elegant, whereby
the most forcible animation is reduced to the miniature size
for setting in rings, lockets, bracelets,- etc. W. F. G. having a
successful practice for the last seven years, and the honour of
taking the principal families in Somerset, Cornwall, and North
Devon to their fullest and entire satisfaction ; and one trial only
is required to ensure confidence and recommendation. Likenesses,
beautified and enamelled on flat and convex glass, in bronze on
paper or glass. Likenesses taken in colour. Ladies and gentlemen
waited on at their own houses in town or country."
GOETHE (1749-1832). German poet. Cut the silhouette of
Fritz von Stein and others, now in the Goethe Museum at
GONARD (1784), Paris. At the Palais Royale cut paper and
painted; used elaborate printed mounts. His address in 1788
was Palais Royale, under arch No. 167, at the side of Rue des
Bons Enfants. Here his studio was so frequented that a special
lantern, decorated with silhouettes, was used at night, that
carriages and chairs might draw up for the convenience of his
aristocratic sitters, xxu.
GRAFF, A. Born 1736, died 1813. Portrait profilist, German.
GRAFF. Described as " Portraitist."
GRAPE (1793), Gottingen. Signature on silhouette portraits
in the fifth volume of Annalen der neueren theologischen
Literatur in Kirchengeschichte (see Bibliography).
GRASSMEYER. Signature on cut silhouette in engraved mount.
HAINES, E. Worked on the Chain Pier, Brighton, 1850.
Label on a man's full-length portrait from the collection of
Mr. Montague J. Guest, now belonging to the author :
" Profilist and Scissorgraphist, patronised by the Royal Family,
most respectfully informs the nobility and gentry, and visitors
of Brighton, that he continues to execute the peculiar art of
cutting profile likenesses in one minute with the aid of scissors
only, so as to equal any yet produced by the most accurate
machine. Terms : Full-length portrait, 2s. 6d. ; ditto bronzed,
or two of one person, 45. ; bust, is., or two of one person,
is. 6d. Portraits of many interesting living characters may
be seen at the first left-hand tower on the Chain Pier. Families
attended at their own residences without additional charge.
Proprietor of original weighing machine." Bishop, writing of
9^ The History of Silhouettes
the Brighton Chain Pier in 1897, writes of the old tower
keeper, Mr. Haynes, a skilful silhouette cutter, " was very deaf,
and his invariable reply to any question was ' is. 6d. head
and shoulders; 2s. 6d. full length." xxxi.
HAMLET (1779-1808). Label on a portrait painted on glass
of His Serene Highness Count Beaujolais, brother to Louis
Philippe of Orleans, afterwards King of France, " done for the
Parry family, Bath, April, 1807." His addresses are 12, Union
Street, on a portrait of Princess Sophia in the Wellesley
collection, and 17, Union Passage.
HANKS, MASTER. Silhouettist mentioned in the Catalogue of
the Exhibition of the Maryland Society of Colonial Dames of
America, held January, 1911. The name occurs on a silhouette
of Miss Henrietta Moffet, belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Whitbridge.
HARDING, Henry Street, London (Foster & Harding, London).
Cut in paper by Mr. Harding " on the silhouette of Mr.
Lawless, Irish Agitator," in the National Portrait Gallery.
HAYD, H. Painted silhouettes.
HEINEMANS. Cut silhouette of Goethe, about 1763.
HEINRICH, ERNST (1792-1862). Cut the portrait of Countess
Salm Proshan ; also painted silhouettes.
HENNING, C. D. Born 1734. Engraver, painter, and
HENSEL, F. and C. Cut twelve silhouettes to illustrate
" Grimm's Fairy Tales," published in a book entitled " Lus
HENVE, HENRY, 12, Cheapside. Label on silhouette owned
by Mr. Wellesley.
HERBERT, M., of Geneva. In 1761 Horace Walpole writes
to Sir Horace Mann and asks him to thank the Duchess of
Grafton on his behalf for the ddcoupure of herself, " her figure
cut out in card by M. Herbert, of Geneva."
HRRVE. "Artist, 172, Oxford Street," on cut paper silhouette
of a lady in early Victorian dress. It is painted in gold.
Owner : E. Jackson.
HESSELL, L. H. (1757), St. Petersburg. Painter of silhouettes
and copper engraver. Invented a machine to take silhouettes by
HOWIE. Painted the silhouette of Gilbert Burns, brother of
Robert Burns, now in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery,
HUBARD, MASTER (1833), Began to cut silhouettes at the age
of twelve. Label on portrait of Princess Victoria when a little
girl. He also painted in Indian ink touched with gold. The
Hubard Gallery was at 109, Strand. When seventeen years
of age he landed in New York, and itinerated in the United
States for many years, charging fifty cents for his silhouettes.
A full-length portrait of a man, in the possession of the
author, has " Hubard Gallery " embossed in the corner of the
cardboard mount. Cut with scissors without drawing or machine
at the Gallery of Cutting and Philharmonic Concert Room.
This is the silhouette of John Grey Park, of Groton, Mass. : " cut
in 1824 " is on one of his figures. Hubard also visited Boston,
and worked at the Exchange Coffee House. XLV.
HUBERT. Cutter of two silhouette portraits of Voltaire
en deshabille, published in Illustrated London News, June 9th,
HUBNER (1797). On a fine painted silhouette of a child with
long hair, belonging to Madame Nossof, Moscow. LIX.
HULM. Eighteenth century. Signature on silhouette scarf-
HUNT, MRS. LEIGH. Cut Byron's silhouette. LI.
HONIGSMANN, R. Painted silhouettes in Indian ink.
ioo The History of Silhouettes
ICHIYEISAI YOSHIIKU (1824-1895). Japanese artist, who worked
in silhouette. Two examples of his shadow prints show a cray-fish
and red shell-fish, gold-fish and carp, in silhouette. A portrait
of the actor Onoye Takanojo in colour and with silhouette is
one of a series entitled " Mako no tsuki Hana no Sugata-ye "
("A flower form picture (before) a real moon").
JEFFRESON. Name on label, gold bronze silhouette. Early
JONES. Advertisement in the Northampton Mercury, December
3oth, 1752: "Shading Likenesses in Miniature Profile, on an
entirely new plan and with great improvements. Taken in one
minute by Mr. Jones, Artist and Drawing Master, from the
Royal Academy, London. That no person may be deprived of
their own friend's likeness, they will be done at so small a sum
as 2s. 6d. Nothing required unless the most striking likeness is
obtained. Specimens may be seen each day from 12 till 7,
at Mr. Balaam's, Saddler, Northampton."
JORDEN, RICHARD (1780). Painted on glass. No relief.
JORDEN, W. (1783). Painting on flat glass, six portraits of
the Deverell family, formerly in the collection of Mr. Montague J.
Guest, now owned by the author.
JOUBERT. Name on silhouette at Knole of boy cut,
in ornamental engraved mount. Printed beneath the portrait
is, " Fait par Joubert, peintre en miniature." XLVII.
KAFFKA, J. C. Head of a young man in the operettas.
Probably himself (see Bibliography).
KAY, G. (alias WIRER). " Scissor-worker, photographist,
miniature painter of the city of Oxford." In 1877 was in
KELFE, M. LANE. Fecit April i6th, 1781, Bath. On man's
portrait, black profile, uniform in grey relief, E. A. Girling.
Owner : Mr. Desmond Coke,
KEMPTON, W. Name on profile shade of " Francis, late
Duke of Bedford," taken at Ampthill Park.
KINDERMANN, JOHANN (1809). Gold-backed silhouette with
pencil drawing. Sacred picture, with colours in landscape.
KING, WILLIAM, "Taker of profile likenesses, respectfully
informs the ladies and gentlemen of Portsmouth that he will
take a room at Col. Woodward's on Wednesday next, and will
stay ten days only to take profile likenesses. His price for two
profiles of one person is twenty-five cents, and frames them in
a handsome manner with black glass in elegant oval, round, or
square frames, gilt or black. Price from fifty cents to two
dollars each, etc." Advertisement in the New Hampshire
Gazette, U.S.A., Tuesday, October 22nd, 1805.
KNIGER, HEINRICH. Silhouettes with touches of colour,
black faces, bodies in water-colour. Signature on town criers'
and bell-ringers' silhouettes.
KOCH, F. R. (1779). Name on a girl's head in the
operettas (see Bibliography).
KOMPF. Designed silhouettes for book " Martin Spitzbauch,"
KONEWKA, PAUL. Born 1840, died 1871. One of the best
known silhouettists of the nineteenth century. Illustrated several
books with silhouettes, cut portraits for plays and children's
books, designed, but did not himself cut, some of his early
work. Much of it is signed " K." xiv.
KORINTHEA. Daughter of the potter Dibutades. First traced
shadow of her lover when he was leaving her (600 B.C.) in
Corinth ; related by Pliny.
KUNST, FRIEDRICH, Mollen. Made scissor-cut silhouettes.
KUNST, THEODOR. Began to cut silhouettes when twelve
years of age.
LANGERVELS, H. (1820).
102 The History of Silhouettes
LASSE. Signature on portrait of the Emperor Paul of Russia
as a child. In the possession of Madame Nossof, Moscow.
LAVATER, J. G. The famous Swiss divine and author, whose
learned work on physiognomy is largely illustrated by the
silhouette portraits of the famous men of his day, cut or drawn
by himself or his assistants. Many profile portraits by artists
such as Michael Angeto, Vandyck, and others, are used in his
book for purposes of examination.
LEA, of Portsmouth. Signature on portrait painted on glass
of Admiral Sir J. Lawford.
LEU, Portsmouth. Painted on convex glass, end of eighteenth
century. Much the same method as Mrs. Beetham, but not
LEWIS. Profilist. Signature on portrait of Mr, J. Cunliffe,
of York (1808). In the possession of Mrs. Fleming, xxvi.
LIGHTFOOT, MRS. About 1785. Advertisement on two
silhouettes, painted, in the possession of Miss Cumings, North
Wales : " Perfect likenesses in miniature profile, taken by Mrs.
Lightfoot, Liverpool, and reduced on a plan entirely new, which
preserves the most exact symmetry and animated expression
of the features. Much superior to any other method. Time
of sitting one minute. N.B. She keeps the original shades,
and can supply those she has once taken with any number of
duplicates. Those who have shades by them may have them
reduced and dressed in perfect taste. All orders addressed to
Mrs. Lightfoot, Liverpool, will be punctually despatched."
LINCOLN, P. S. Signature on several portraits in the collection
of Mr. Montague J. Guest, sold at Christie's, April nth, 1910.
LLOYD, A. E., Chain Pier, Brighton. Second half of nineteenth
century. Cut paper pencilled with gold.
LOCKE, M. (fecit 1843). Signed on full-length of lady
holding book, 9 inches by 6 inches. Owned by Mr. J. R, Hall.
LOEKSI. A Polish silhouette cutter who itinerated in
Ireland, holding exhibitions in each city. Advertisement on an
example in the Wellesley collection.
LONGINATE, 81, Margaret Street. On printed silhouette of
Granville Sharp, Esq., born 1734, died 1813. Published by
L. Nichols & Co., December, 1818. In the N. P. G.
LOSCHENKOHL (1780), Vienna. Painted originals of engraved
silhouettes. Published in an almanack for 1786.
MACKENZIE. Signed "P.M., after Atkinson," on silhouette
portrait, full length, of Prince of Wales (late King Edward VII.)
in his perambulator (1847) with the Princess Royal. At Knole.
MACKINTOSH. igth century. Address: St. Andrew Street,
MACLISE (1806-1870). Born at Cork. Historical painter.
Amongst his drawings bequeathed to the Victoria and Albert
Museum by Mr. Foster, there are two heads in black silhouette
and two cut silhouettes measuring ii inches.
MANDERER, E. Illustrated a children's book with silhouettes.
MANNERS, W. H. Cut the silhouette of Sir Thomas Swin-
nerton Dyer, R.N., eighth baronet. Born 1770, died 1854.
MAPLETOFT. A fellow of Pembroke College. Cut a black
shade of Thomas Gray, " taken after he was 40." In the
Strawberry Hill collection a profile of the poet was described
as " Mr. Thomas Gray, etched from his shade by W. Mason."
Mr. George Sharf, in the Athettaum, February 24th, 1894,
considers it a happy instinct to make use of the silhouette for
producing a more complete portrait. The black shade of the
poet preserved at Pembroke College directly inspired the best
known portrait of Gray by Basire.
MARIA THERESA. Two white paper cuttings appeared in the
Briinn Exhibition attributed to the scissors of the Empress.
MARTINI, VIGER. On painted silhouette of Blondin, dancer
IO 4 The History of Silhouettes
at the Thdatre Italien, Comedi6 Francais, and others. In the
National Portrait Gallery. These portraits are usually about
5 inches by 2^ inches. Sometimes modelling in the face is
suggested by brushwork.
MASON, W. Profile painter and printseller, Cambridge.
Label on portrait of Ed. Daniel Clarke, LL.D., Professor of
Mineralogy, Cambridge, who died March gth, 1822, aged 53 years.
MAY, PHIL. Died 1910. This brilliant black and white
artist occasionally worked in silhouette, giving to each portrait
his inimitable touch of good-natured caricature. Signature on
several silhouettes owned by Mr. Desmond Coke, xv., XLIX.
MAYER, JOSEF. Signature on silhouette of a young lady on
a gold ground.
MAYER, STEPHANUS (1813). Signature on a portrait finely
etched on glass with gold ground.
MELFOR, S. Name on cut silhouette of early Victorian lady
in lace collar, gold lines on black dress.
MERINSKY, F. D. Cut silhouettes, the paper afterwards
stamped in slight relief.
MERRYWEATHER. Profilist. Label on the back of cut
silhouette of a girl, in black paper bronzed with gold.
MIERS, JOHN. Silhouette painter; generally painted in
unrelieved black on plaster. His earliest label is very rare.
" Perfect likenesses in miniature profile taken by J. Miers, Leeds,"
on a portrait of a man in the possession of the author. Other
labels give "John Miers, in, Strand, opposite Exeter 'Change,
Profilist and Jeweller, late of Leeds." His name is first men-
tioned in the London Directory of 1792. Another address is,
"J. Miers, late of Leeds, 162, Strand, opposite New Church."
Also, " Miers & Field," when he commenced a partnership with
John Field, which lasted many years. " Miers & Field,
in, Strand," appears in Kent's London Directory of 1827.
Considerable trouble clouded the latter years of the artist's
life, ix., x., XL, xix., XXIIL
MILDNER (1799). Gold silhouette on glass goblet enclosed
in second glass (eglomise).
MILNER, JAMES, 78, Grange Hill Road, Eltham. Pen-and-
ink silhouette portraits. Present day.
MOGLICH (1742), Augsburg. Drew silhouettes or etched on
glass on a gold ground.
MORSE, LEONARD BECKER (1783), St. John's College,
MOSER, KOLOMAN, Vienna. Illustrated a book of caricatures
in silhouette cut out of coloured papers (see Bibliography).
MULACZ, OLGA, Vienna. Cut silhouette pictures to illustrate
Goethe's "Faust," etc.
MULLER, H. Silhouette in Indian ink.
MULLER, WILHELMINA. Cut very minute landscapes in black
paper. A man of humble origin, who possessed the gift, but
made little use of it
MURATORI, SIGNOR. Extract from Art Journal, 1853 :
" Papyrography is the title given to the art of cutting pictures
in black paper. Some specimens that have recently been shown
by Signer Muratori are certainly the most ingenious works we
have ever seen ; they are executed with scissors only."
MUYBRIDGE. Mentioned as English silhouettist by Gardner
NEATHER (1809). Cut silhouettes.
NEVILLE, J., Pool Lane.
NILSON (1721-1788). Member of the Vienna and Augsburg
Academy. Cut a silhouette of Josef II.
NILSON, ANDREAS, father of above. Silhouette and miniature
106 fhe History of Silhouettes -
NOETHER, J. (1776). German.
NOWAK, ANTON. Cut portraits and genre pictures.
OCCOLOVITZ, L. Died 1799. Fine gold-back glass painted
silhouettes, also jewel gold-back silhouettes with fine black
OLDHAM, JOHN (1807). Miniature painter, engraver, and
mechanic, of Dublin. " Invented the Ediograph for taking
profile miniatures, price iis. 4sd." He also invented a machine
for engraving bank-notes, which was adopted by the Bank of
OPIE, AMELIA (nee ALDERSON), wife of the artist. Cut the
portrait of Mrs. Edward Beetham, silhouettist, of Fleet Street.
This portrait is now in the possession of Dr. Beetham, of
Bradford. It is cut hollow in white paper, which, when laid
on black, gives the effect of a black shadow portrait, xxn.
OPITZ, JOHANN ADOLF (1763-1825), Dresden. Portraits in
OSTERMEYER. Glass painted silhouettes with gold ground.
OUVRIER (1725-1754). Engraved Schenan's painting,
" L'origine de la peinture a la mode," and those of Eisen,
Falconet, Boucher, etc.
PACKENY, P. (1846-1905), Vienna. Cut silhouettes cleverly
in variously coloured papers.
PAHLY. Signature on two fine silhouettes of officers in
uniform of the early nineteenth century. In the possession of
Madame Nossof, Moscow. LIX.
PAREY, AUGUSTE (1855).
PASKIN, Colchester. Painted silhouettes on glass, wax filling.
" Miniature and Profile Painter ; profiles painted in a new and
elegant style producing the effect of aquatinta engraving, with
the beauty and softness of enamel, in imitation of marble,
conveying the most perfect likeness. In rings, brooches, lockets.
Time of sitting, one minute. Ladies and gentlemen attended
at their own houses, if required, by leaving their address at
Mr. Good's, hairdresser, 14, Head Street, Colchester."
PAVEY, AUGUSTE (1855).
PAVEY, C. H.
PEALE, C. W. Began business in the United States; cut
Washington and other famous men.
PEARSE, JAMES. Portsmouth. Cut Nelson just before sailing
for Trafalgar, and the Duchess of Kent in unrelieved black ; in
the National Portrait Gallery.
PEARSE, B., father of above. Cut the portrait of the Duke of
Wellington from life. In the National Portrait Gallery.
PELHEN, J. Painted on glass, eighteenth century.
PFEILHAUER (1796). Silhouette pictures painted on glass, with
several portraits of court musicians.
PICK, G. Cut the portrait of King Edward VII. at
Marienbad, Carlyle, and others. In the Knole collection.
Pocci, F. G., Munich. Silhouette play, and silhouette
illustration in books.
POKORNY. Gold glass silhouette with some blue ground.
PRIXNER (1784). Silhouettes cut in paper, on elaborate
PULHEN, E. B. (1819). Cut silhouettes.
PYBURG, ELIZABETH. Cut profile of William and Mary,
1699. See Harpers Magazine, June, 1882.
QUIETENSKY, E. M. Cut silhouettes of theatrical characters.
RAYNER (fecit 1808). On the painted silhouette of a boy,
the property of Madame Nossof, Moscow. LVIII.
READHEAD. Eighteenth century. On glass, painted to
resemble a stipple engraving, card back.
REHSEINER, MARIE. German modern silhouettist.
REINHOLD. Cut silhouettes in black paper.
io8 fhe History of Silhouettes
RICHTER (about 1780). Painted on glass, gold leaf or silk
RIDER, T. (1789). Temple Bar Advertisement. " Any lady or
gentleman in the country, by taking their own shade, can have
reduced for 35. 6d. rings in the new method, which has the
effect of topases, gilt border, plaster filling. Profile painting
on convex glass ; inventor of gold borders on convex glass,
which gives a painting, print, or drawing the effect of fine
RITZSCH (1788). Cut battle-scene in white paper.
RIVIERE. Cut silhouettes in coloured papers, which have
been published as book illustration in " L'enfant Prodigue
Scenes Bibliques en 7 Tableaux " and " La Marche a 1'Etoile "
ROBERTS, H. P. On glass, white relief, sometimes silk back.
RODE, B. (1770), Berlin. Court silhouettist.
ROSENBERG, T. E. Painted on plain or convex glass with
backings of wax or plaster. Worked sometimes in colour.
Address : 14, The Grove, Bath. Painted lockets, trinkets, and
snuff-boxes. Prices from 75. 6d. to ;i is. Also Rosenberg,
of Bath, at Mrs. Barclay's, ye Temple. XLV.
ROUGHT, W., Corn Market, Oxford. Painted on glass.
" One-minute sittings from 55. to los. 6d.," on female figure.
Owner : Mr. A. B. Connor.
ROZEN (1766). Russian silhouettist. Signature on two fine
portraits in the possession of Madame Nossof, Moscow. LVIII.
RUNGE, PHILIP OTTO (1777-1810). Painter and silhouettist.
Cut out in white paper, flowers, animals, human figures. His
works have been collected and published in Germany.
SANDHEGAN, M. Painted on card and glass. Marlborough
SCHADER, K. (1799). Silhouette painted on glass.
SCHARF. Black cut silhouette on blue ground- Eighteenth
SCHELYMAC, I. W. (1779).
SCHENAN, J. C. (1768). Painted picture, " L'Origine de la
peinture ou les portraits a la mode."
SCHINDLER, ALBERT (1805-1861), Silesia. Coloured silhouette
SCHMALCALDER, C. Invented profile machine, patented
1806. Address : Little Newport Street, Soho. Mathematical and
philosophical instrument maker.
SCHMED (1795-1801), Vienna. Many examples of his work
were at the Exhibition at Brtinn, 1906. He painted on glass,
using Indian ink decorations ; sometimes coloured foils as
SCHREINER, CHRISTOPHER. Eighteenth century. Inventor of
an instrument of the pantograph type for the reduction of
SCHROTT, G. Silhouette landscapes and portraits with gold
SCHUBRING, G. Illustrated, in cut silhouettes, songs and
stories. (See Bibliography.)
SCHULER (1791). Engraved silhouette portrait in Annalen der
neueren theologischen Literatur in Kirchengeschichte.
SCHUTZ, FRANZ. Born 1751, in Frankfort-on-Maine. Land-
scape painter and silhouettist.
SCHWAIGER, HANS (1906), Prague. Cut and painted silhouettes.
SCOTT, M. (1911). Draws silhouette portraits in Indian ink.
u, South Molton Street, W.
SCROOPE, G. (1824).
SEIDL, C. Gold background, black silhouette, locket size.
SEIGNEUR. Cut silhouette of Gibbon. Lent by Miss Adam
110 'The History of Silhouettes
to Royal Amateur Art Society's Loan Collection, March, 1902 ;
also Monsieur and Madame de SeVery by same artist.
SEVILLE, W. (1821), Lancaster. Advertisement: "At a large
room adjoining the Merchant's Coffee Room, Market Street.
Striking likenesses cut with scissors in a few seconds, i/-." LVI.
SHERWELL, MRS. (nte LIND). " Cut with scissors, without
any other instrument," a series of silhouette portraits presented to
the library of the Society of Antiquarians of Scotland by her son,
Lieut.-Col. W. Stanhope Sherwell, in 1877. Amongst them is
a bust portrait of George III., Queen Charlotte, Princess
Amelia, Mr. and Mrs. Delaney, and many other persons of
distinction, including the only known full-length portrait of
Thomas Gray. This is 4J inches in height, and turned right ;
it represents the poet in his later years.
SHIELD. Signature on cut black paper silhouette of Wash-
ington, in Library of Congress, Washington, U.S.A.
SILHOUETTE, ETIENNE DE. The silhouette took its name,
but no more, from Louis XV.'s miserly finance minister, Etienne
de Silhouette (1709-1767). Born at Limoges on July 8th, he
received as good an education as could then be obtained in
a provincial town, studying such books on finance and
administration as he could obtain. After travelling in Europe,
he settled in London for a year to examine our practice of
public economy (the Progressive of our present County Council
had not yet been born) ; he then determined that one day France
should have the same sound financial system. On returning
to Paris, he translated some English works, which made his
name known, and, becoming attached to the household of
Marshal Nivelles, was appointed Secretary to the Due d'Orleans,
the son of the Regent, who in a short time made him his
Chancellor. At this time costly wars were depleting the treasury
of France, and ministers were rapidly succeeding each other
Silhouettists \ I I
as head of the finance department of the State. Silhouette
had always preached economy, a most uncommon plank in the
political platform of those days of huge personal and State
expenditure. Disgusted at the extremes of the Grand Monarque
and the Regency, a section of thinking men gathered round
Silhouette, seeing in him the controller who would straighten
out the finances of the State. A party headed by the Prince
de Conde opposed him, on the ground that he had committed
a crime by translating English books into French. Silhouette,
however, possessed the powerful influence of Madame de
Pompadour, and was, through her, elected Contr61eur-General
in March, 1757. It is said that he saved the treasury seventy- two
millions of francs before he had been in office twenty-four
hours. " This is the more remarkable," naively comments the
old biographer Michaud, "because many of his relations were
amongst those whose salaries he cut down." Economies next
came in the household expenditure of Louis XV., and it
is owing to Silhouette's policy that so many of the splendid
masterpieces of the goldsmith's and silversmith's art of that epoch
found their way into the melting-pot. Silhouette next proposed
a novel system of banking. This led to the unpopularity which
eventually brought about his downfall. He was forced to resign
after a term of office lasting eight months, and on retiring
he spent his time in regulating his estate on economical lines,
and in silhouette cutting at Brie sur Marne.
SINTZENICH (1779). Silhouette engraver.
SKOYMSHER. Eighteenth century. Cut paper. Address: 280,
SMITH, J., Edinburgh. Painted on plaster. Eighteenth
SOLLBRIG, JOHANN GOTTLIEB (1765-1815). Miniature painter
112 The History of Silhouettes
SPECKBERGER. Silhouette portraits with gold backgrounds.
SPORNBERG, W. Painted in black on convex glass, ground
in black, profile, and pattern in orange red, elaborate borders.
Portrait, one of eight, signed and dated, in the possession
of Lady Sackville. "W. Spornberg, inventor, No. 5, Lower
Church Street, Bath, 1793." Portraits of the Ansley family.
STANZELL. Silhouette portrait with gold ground.
STARCH (1806). Silhouette of Wieland, in the Goethe Museum
at Weimar ; also group of a family at the tomb of a child, at
the same Museum.
STEELL. Advertisement from the Northampton Mercury,
October 8th, 1781 : " Mr. Steell most respectfully solicits those
inclined to honour him by sitting to be immediate, as his stay
will be so short. " Likenesses in Profile. Dec. 22, 1781. Mr. S.,
having been sent for back to Northampton to wait on some
families in the neighbourhood, and being informed that several
ladies and gentlemen have applied during his absence, takes this
opportunity of acquainting the public that he purposes stopping
for about a week at Mr. Mawby's, in Mercer's Row, where he
hopes those who are inclined to honour him will apply."
STROHL, KARL FROLICH. Modern German silhouettist.
TAPP, F. Frontispiece for a cookery book. Silhouettes cut
out of black paper, red background.
TERSTAN, A. T. xvm.
THOMAS, 83, Long Acre. " Undertakes to supply silhouette
portraits at is. each. Mr. T. is able to make this liberal offer
in consequence of an order he has received from a gentleman
of eminence to procure 50,000 different profiles of the human
countenance for a treatise on physiology." On Indian ink portrait
of an officer, engraved mount.
THOMASON, I. (1793), Dublin. Itinerated in Cheshire, Lan-
cashire, and Staffordshire. Painted on glass and plaster, black
Painted silhouette, with gold pencilling.
In the possession of Lady Sackville, at
Painted silhouette, with gold pencilling
and blue stock tie, at Knole.
Painted silhouette, with gold pencilling,
Silhouette, painted on card. In
possession of the Author.
The COUNTHSS OF BLESSINCTON. 1829.
By Foster, at Knole.
Silhouettists i 1 3
faces, white relief. His advertisement says: "Silhouettes in
miniature profile taken by Thomason on a peculiar plan and
reduced to any size. Silhouettes set in rings, lockets, and pins,
and he keeps original shades ; can supply those he has once
taken with any number of copies, reduces old ones, and dresses
them in present taste. Address : 25, Great George Street,
Dublin." Also advertisement in Dublin Chronicle, May, 1792.
Address : No. 30, Capel Street, Dublin.
THONARD. Cut silhouette groups and family pieces between
1790 and 1820. Sometimes worked in dark olive green with
touches of gold.
TOWNSHEND, BARBARA ANNE. Cut groups of figures in black
paper. A collection of these was published in paper covers by
Ed. Orms, Bond Street, London, in 1808. Price, 55. the book,
or is. each print.
TURNER. Published a silhouette of " Queen Charlotte of
Great Britain," 1782, opposite the Church, Snow Hill. In the
National Portrait Gallery.
TUSSAUD, J. P. (1823), son of the great Madame Tussaud.
" Respectfuly informs the nobility, gentry, and the public in general
that he has a machine by which he takes profile likenesses.
Price 2s. to 75., according to style. Biographical and descriptive
sketches of the whole-length composition figures and other
works of art forming the unrivalled collection of Madame
UNGER, Berlin. Reduplicated silhouettes by means of
printing press, mentioned in " Bon Magic," one of the early
books of instruction in silhouette-making. (See Bibliography.)
URICH, R. Signature on engraved mount.
VALENTINI (1759-1820). Silhouettist and painter. Worked
at Turin, Milan, Florence, and Berlin. Originally a bookseller
in Frankfort. Practised drawing and silhouetting in his leisure
iH the History of Silhouettes
hours. One of his portraits gained sufficient notoriety for him
to throw up his book-selling and go to Italy to study.
VALLOTON. Obtained silhouette effects by woodcuts and
lithographs in two shades.
VIDEKI, LUDWIG, Salzburg.
V., L. Signature on white heads on dark blue ground.
Hair, eyes, and shadows indicated by light grey shading in
imitation of cameos.
WAGNER, GEBHARDT. Silhouette post-card caricatures.
WALCH, JEAN BAPTIST NICOLAS (1773). Silhouette of Mozart
and his sister at the piano, as children. Cut out of small
pieces of silk of various colours gummed on card.
WALKER, J., Trowbridge. Eighteenth century. Painted
on card, white relief.
WALLER, H. & J.
WALLSON. Signature on silhouettes owned by Mrs. Young.
WASS, JOHN, Cornhill, London, Feb., 1823. On portrait of
a lady wearing a frilled lace collar and high comb, in the
possession of Mr. Alfred Doxey.
WATKINS. Cut paper, signature on portrait of Nelson's
mother ; also on portrait of Nicholas Brooking family, taken
in Devon. Painted card, white relief. LIV.
WELLINGTON, W. Painted on card in reddish brown. Also
cut black and white paper with brushwork details. Formerly
of Trafalgar House.
WEST (1811). Advertisement: "Miniature and profile painter
from London, respectfully informs the ladies and gentlemen
of Derby and its environs that he has taken apartments
at Mr. Price's, in the Market Place, where he intends for
a short time practising the above art, and where specimens
may be seen. Mr. W. requires only two short sittings, and
will reduce the likeness with the greatest exactness to within
the compass of rings, brooches, etc. Miniatures from two
to six guineas. Profiles taken correctly in one minute by
means of his improved portable machine. The construction
and simplicity of this instrument render it one of the most
ingenious inventions of the present day, as it is impossible
in its delineation to differ from the outline of the original,
even in the breadth of a hair. Profiles on card, in black,
55. ; in colours, ros. 6d. ; on wood, in colours, i guinea and
upwards. Attendance from ten in the morning till five in the
" ** Mr. W. never permits a painting to quit his hands
but what it's a likeness."
WESTON, 149^, Bowery, New York.
WHEELER (1799), Windsor.
WHIELER, J. (1793). On portrait of coachman in elaborate
livery, probably an amateur's study. In the possession of
Mr. Desmond Coke.
WHITTLE, E. (1830). " Cut with scissors. Mr. E. Whittle,
artist." On portrait of a lady in black paper, book in hand,
gold touches. In the possession of the author.
WILL, J. M. German.
WILLSON, Miss. Painting on convex glass. Signature at
the back of portrait of Elizabeth Mitchell. Black head, cap,
fichu, and lace in relief. Owner, the author.
WILLTON (1809), Queen Street, Portsea. Advertisement on
an example in the Wellesley collection.
WINKLER, ROLF, Munich. Cut silhouettes without previous
WIRER. See KAY.
WISH, R. Signature on portrait of a man with ribbon,
decorated engraved mount. At Knole.
WRAG, MRS. On silhouette of Daniel Wrag, Esq. Profile
u6 The History of Silhouettes
taken by Mrs. Wrag. Published by J. Nichols & Co., April,
1816. In the National Portrait Gallery.
WRIGHT, PATIENCE. Came to London from America. Cut
silhouettes and modelled wax figures. Also cut flowers and
YOUNG, G. M. (1836). On a full-length portrait in dark
olive green, white relief, cap, etc. Owner : Mrs. Nickson.
ZIMMERHAKEL (i8io). Painted on glass.
fThe Roman numerals at the end of a biography refer to the page in
the illustrations in which an example of the work of the silhouettist
|N compiling a list of books and essays in which the
art of taking black shades is described, or in which
silhouettes are used as illustrations, it is impossible to
enumerate all the fragmentary notes which have appeared
from time to time in modern magazines and newspapers. Amongst
such, we have mentioned those which will best repay the
attention of the student.
" Heft mit heiteren Schnitten weiss auf Schwarz." 1653.
Swift's "Miscellanies." Edition 1745. Vol. X.
" Physiognomische Fragmente zur Beforderung der Menschen-
kenntnis und der Menschenliebe." Lavater. 1775.
"Anweisung zum Silhouettenzeichnen und zur Kunst, sie zu
Verjiingen, nebst einer Einleitung von ihrem physiognomischen
Nutzen." 1779. Anonym. Romhild und Leipzig.
" Operetten," von C. F. Bretzner. 1777. C. F. Schneider,
" Schattenrisse von hohen Herrschaften." 1779.
" Ausfuhrliche Abhandlung liber die Silhouetten und deren
Zeichnung, Verjiingung und Vervielfaltigung." Von dem unge-
nannt bleibenden Verfasser des " physiognomischen Kabinets."
Philip Heinrich Perrenon. 1780. Frankfurt und Leipzig.
" Beschreibung der Boumagie oder der Kunst, Schattenrisse
auf eine leichte und sichere Art zu vervielfaltigen." Anonym.
1780. Perrenon, Miinster und Hamm.
" Kalender fur das Jahr 1786." Mit 53 Schattenbildern.
Herausgegeben von Heronim, Loschenkohl.
n8 The History of Silhouettes
" Collection de Cent Silhouettes de Personnes illustres et
cdebres Dessines d'apr6s les originaux par Anthing." A. Gotha.
"Annalen der neueren theologischen Literatur und Kirchen-
geschichte." Silhouette Bildnisse 1793, 1795, 1796. Rinteln,
"Die neuen theologischen Annalen." Marburg, 1799. Mit
gestochenen Schattenrissen nach hervorragenden Geistlichen.
" Essays on Physiognomy calculated to extend the Knowledge
and Love of Mankind," written by the Rev. John Caspar
Lavater, Citizen of Zurich. Translated from the last Paris
edition by the Rev. C. Moore, LL.D., F.R.S. Illustrated by
several hundred engravings, accurately copied from the originals.
" Hints designed to promote Beneficence," by John Coakley
Lettsom, M.A., LL.D., etc. Published by J. Mawman, London,
" Erster Teil Meusel's Lexicon." 1789. Zweite Auflage
" Portrait Gallery of Distinguished American Citizens, with
Biographical Sketches," by William H. Brown, and facsimiles of
original letters. Hartford. Published by E. B. and E. C.
" Sermons par M. J. G. Ch. de la Saussaige a la Haige
et a Amsterdam chez les freres vaullerf Imprimeurs Libraires."
"Treatise on Silhouettes," by Monsieur Edouart, Silhouettist
to the Royal Family, and patronised by His Royal Highness
the late Duke of Gloucester. Published by Longmans & Co.,
Paternoster Row ; J. Bolster, Patrick Street, Cork ; and Fraser,
" Memoir of the late Hannah Kilham," chiefly compiled from
her journal, and edited by her daughter-in-law, Sarah Beller, of
St. Petersburg. Published by Darton & Harvey, London. 1837.
" Profiles of Warrington Worthies," collected and arranged by
James Kendrick, M.D., Warrington. Longman, Brown, Green,
and Longman, London; Haddock & Son, Warrington. 1854.
" Der Gestiefelte Kater." 1876-77. Bilder von Hermine
Moser, Bilderbuch. Wien.
" L'enfant Prodigue, Scenes Bibliques en 7 Tableaux."
Von Henri Riviere. Paris: Enoch & Co., 1895.
" La Marche a l'e"toile." Von Henri Riviere.
" Kochbuch." 1840.
" Liederbiicher mit Silhouetten." Von Gertrud Schubring.
" Frauenzimmer-Almanache und Damen-Konversationslexicon,"
1816, 1817, 1819, 1820, 1831, 1846.
" Beschreibung eines sehr einfachen zur Verjiingung der
Schattenrisse dienenden Storchschnabels, den sich jeder Liebhaber
selbst verfertigen kann." Anonym. Von dem Verfasser der
"Ins Marchenland." 12 geschnittene Silhouetten zu Grimm's
" Marchen." Von Fanny and Cecilie Henzel. Berlin : B. Behr
"Der Schwarze Peter." Von P. Konewka. Stuttgart: J.
" Osterspaziergang." Von P. Konewka. Miinchen. G. D. W.
" Falstaff und seine Gesellen." Von P. Konewka. Text von
Hermann Kurz. Strassburg : Moritz Schauenburg.
" Ein Sommernachtstraum von W. Shakespeare." Mit 24
Schattenrissen. Heidelberg: Fr. Bassermann, 1868. Von P.
Konewka, in Holz geschnitten von A. Vogel.
120 The History of Silhouettes
" Schwarze Kunst." 12 Silhouetten von P. Konewka. Mit
einem Titelblatt von H. Braun. Holzschnitte aus der xylo-
graphischen Anstalt von W. Hecht in Miinchen und Phototypien
von Angerer and Goschl in Wien. Verlag L. Unflad. 1880.
" Lose Blatter." Fiinf Silhouetten, erfunden von Paul Konewka.
Berlin: Paul Bette.
" Allerlei Tiergeschichten." Von. P. Konewka. Text von J.
Trojan. Strassburg : M. Schauenburg.
" Zerstreute Blatter." Von P. Konewka. Gesammelt und unter
Mitwirkung von F. Freiligrath, H. Kurz, H. Leuthold, H.
Lingg, H. Noe. Herausgegeben von Fritz Keppler. Miinchen:
" Schattenbilder." (Zweiter Teil des Schwarzen Peters.) P.
Konewka. Mit Reimen von F. Trojan. Stuttgart : J. Hoffmann.
" KomnV Mit I " Ein schwarz frohliches Bilderbuch von Frida
Schanz. Bilder von E. Mauderer. Stuttgart : Levy & Miiller.
Hofbuchhandling, Gerold & Ko., Wien.
" Schattenspiel." Von Franz Pocci. Miinchen.
" Zweites Schattenspiel." Franz Pocci.
" Kinderspiele, Puppenspiele, Volksschauspiele." Franz Pocci.
" Geschichten und Lieder." Mit Bildern, als Fortsetzung
des Fest Kalenders. Von Franz Pocci und Anderen. Zweiter
" Sammelband von Runge's Werken." Philip Otto Runge.
Pflanzenstudien mit Schere und Papier. Herausgegeben von
Alfred Lichtwark. Hamburg, 1875. Gesellschaft Hamburgischer
Kunst freunde. Jahrbuch, 1904. A. Lichtwark. Neue Silhouetten
von P. O. Runge. Theaterstiick : Die Jager, in 5 Aufziigen
" Das verungluckte Standchen." Chimt a Vogerl gefloge,
Zerstreute Blatter und Biographische Skizze von Keppler. Die
Bilder von Paul Konewka. Obernetter, Miinchen.
" Martin Spitzbauch." Ein satyrischcomischer Roman in
Versen, im Geschmacke der Jobsiade, herausgegeben von G
L Mit dem Portrat des Verfassers, dem satyrischen Portrat
des Martin Spitzbauch und einigen Kupfern zur Versinnlichung
versehen. Wurzburg, 1896 Auf Kosten des Verfassers.
" Saute-au-Ciel." Der ungliickliche Franzose oder der deutschen
Freiheit Himmelfahrt. Ein Schattenspiel mit Bildern. Manuscript
1816. Herausgegeben von Chr. Brentano. Aschaffenburg, 1850.
Mit 8 Schattenrissen.
" L'Auge Conducteur dans les prieres et exercises de pieteV'
Franzosisches Gebetbuch, Wien. Mit Bildnissen 1832, 1834,
" Es regnet, es regnet ! " Kinderbilder und Kinderreime von
Nelly Bodenheim. Steglitz, Berlin. Bei Enno, Quehl.
"Silhouette Sketches and Portraits," by Harry Edwin. 1887.
" The Revival of the Silhouette." Article in " The Bookman,"
published by Dodd, Mead & Co., New York, 1910. Written
by Gardner Teall.
" Die Silhouette." Maehrisches Gewerbe Museum Mitteilungen.
Director, Julius Leisching.
" The Art of cutting out Designs in Black Paper." Barbara
and Ann Townshend. 1815.
" Histoire des Marionnettes." Charles Maguire.
"The History of Java." Thomas Stamford Raffles.
"A Newly-discovered Portrait of Thomas Gray, the Poet."
"The Athenaeum," February 24th, 1894.
" An Undescribed Silhouette Portrait of Thomas Gray," by
J. M. Gray, F.S.A., Scot. "The Athenaeum," April i4th, 1894.
"Geschichte des Schattentheaters." 1907. By Georg Jacob
" Islamische Schattenspiel-Figuren aus Egypten." By Dr.
Paul Kahle. Qu Die Islam. Vol. I. in 1910.
Advertisement of Silhouettist, early nineteenth century. In the possession of Lady Sackville, Knole.
The Origin of a Painter, from a sketch by Wm, Mulready, R.A., in the possession of W. Mulready, Esq.
From a lithograph published 1828.
> r -;
Silhouette cut in white paper.
Portrait in Indian ink, probably Ciernian, in the
possession of the Author. Formerly in the Montague
The famous tragedienne, MRS. SIDDONS. TYRONE POWER in the character of D. O'Toole, and in ordinary-
dress. By August Edouart.
Portrait of JOHN FIELD, by himself.
Painted on plaster, pencilled with gold,
MRS. JOHN FIELD, wife of the silhouettist.
Painted on plaster, pencilled with gold,
Cut portrait of MARY, COUNTESS
OF ORFORD, grandmother of Lady
Dorothy Nevill, in whose pos-
session the silhouette now is.
Portrait of Miss FIELD. Painted
on plaster, pencilled with gold, by
Portrait of Miss FIELD. Painted on
plaster, pencilled with gold, by
The portraits of the Field family are in the possession of Mr. J. A. Field, great-grandson of the silhouettist.
-Frill brooch, mounted in
gold, painted on ivory.
Portrait painted on plaster.
Signed, Miers and Field.
Signed portrait by Miers,
painted <>n plaster.
Portrait on plaster, elaborately pencilled with
gold. I'nsigned. Probably by Field.
Portrait on plaster.
In the possession o( Mr. J. A. Field.
Signed portrait by Miers, in
brown and gold, on plaster,
mount nil in a turned wooden
Portrait on plaster.
In the possession of Mr. J. A. Field.
The portraits on this page are in the possession of the Author, with the exceptions stated.
Coloured silhouette portrait
of a lady in a gown of apple
green ; cap and kerchief buff
colour; about 1780.
Signed portrait by Miers,
mounted in gold.
Signed portrait by Miers, mounted in gold.
1'ortrait of a man painted on plaster, probably
by Miers ; at the back is the trade label of
Miers & Field.
In the possession of Mrs. Head, together with
the three above.
Painted on card by Mrs. Edward Beet ham ; on
the back is the trade label and date, 1785.
In the possession of Dr. Beetham.
Boy with bow, painted on glass,
Signed portrait by Miers, in
Frenchman, in gold touched
uniform, mounted with pearls
as a pendant.
1 'ainted on card by Mrs. Beetham.
All on this page in the possession
of Mrs. Head, with the exception
I'ainted on convex glass.
1'ortrait of a man painted on card, signed
Charles. Owner: Mr. J. A. Field.
Silhouette portraits in caricature, probably German, first half of the nineteenth century.
In the possession of Mrs. F. N Jackson.
ELISAUETH VON WAI.UON.
Portrait of GEORGE III., painted
in Indian ink, by his daughter.
Princess Elizabeth. In the pos-
session of Lady Dorothy Nevill.
MARY LADY CI.ERK OF PENICCIK.
In the possession of
Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.
Portrait of (JUEEN CHARLOTTE,
painted by Princess Elizabeth.
In the possession of Lady
DUKE or WELLINGTON, life size.
In the possession of the Author.
In the possession of Mr. Desmond Coke.
A 1'ainful Subject, by Konewka, the German silhouettist.
1'ortrait, by Charles, painted on card.
Portrait, by Charles, painted on card.
Portrait of a CAMBRIDGE DON. cut by August Edouart. Portrait of MICKIF.WICZ, sketched by Phil May in 1888.
All these portraits are in the possession of Mr. Desmond Coke.
The portraits are in the possession of Francis Wellesley, Esq.
Hare dressed picture in silhouette. One of four owned Silhouette drawn in Indian ink, late eighteenth century,
by Dr. Beetham, probably German. Dated 1745. In the possession of Mr. Desmond Coke.
Black cutting, from a single sheet of paper.
In the possession of .Mr. Desmond Coke.
China plate with black profile picture, red border.
with Greek pattern in black. One of a pair in the
possession of Mr. Desmond Coke.
Portraits in black and colour. Signed A. T. Terstan fecit, 1787, at Knole.
Portrait of unknown man by Charles, painted on card.
In the possession of E. Jackson.
MRS. PKINGLK, of Korwcxxllca, >'e Tod, of Dryburi;h
Abbey. By J. Miers, on plaster. At the back is his
early Leeds label. In the possession of Captain Pringle.
Silhouette in printed mount, painted pink ribbon.
In the possession of Lady Sackville, Knole.
Printed silhouette portrait of CAPTAIN PATL Cci'FEE.
Published by Darton, Henry & Darton. Nov. 1st,
MARIA MARCHIONESS 01- AII.ESBURV.
" PERDITA " ROBINSON. MR HOPE.
The portraits on this page are in the possession of I'rancis Wellesley, Esq.
Coffee cup in Sevres china in white and gold. Silhouette portrait of Mirabeau. In the Musee Carnavalet, Paris.
Portrait painted on glass with gold ground. Signed
Coos, 1789. In the possession of Lady Sackville, Knole.
Black portrait on gold ground, silver shield and vase.
On the vase is written, " Pensez a moi." Date 1812.
In the possession of Lady Sackville, Knole.
Portrait painted on convex glass rilled
with wax. In the possession of Lady
WILLIAM ALEXANDER WILLIS, born
1799. Taken prisoner by Napoleon
in 1812. Portrait in the possession
of Capt. Richard rfolliott Willis, his
Portrait painted on plaster, pencilled
with gold. Signed, J. Field. In the
possession of A. C. Field, Esq.
Early French portrait,
about 1770. Cut in
shiny black paper,
probably by Gonard.
In the possession of
Portrait of MRS. BEETHAM, cut hollow
in white paper, by Mrs. Opie. In the
possession of Dr. Beetham, descendant
of the silhouettist.
Portrait painted on
glass. In the posses-
sion of Miss Gatliff.
Picture in white paper. A scrap-book piece in the possession of Miss de la Chaumette.
Fainted silhouette of MARIE ANTOINETTE, at Knole.
Signed portrait of GKORGE IV'., by Adolph. hair and
jewels pencilled in gold.
In the possession of Mrs. F. N T . Jackson.
Portrait of a man painted on plaster by Miers, rare early
Leeds label on back.
In the possession of Mrs. F. N. Jackson.
Painted silhouette at Knole.
Two of the sons and one married daughter of Joseph and Sarah Lea, with their children.
The room and all the furniture then in use is faithfully represented in the picture, which
was drawn by Edouart in 1843.
Joseph Lea and his wife Sarah, with one son and eight unmarried daughters. Taken
by August Edouart in 1843, at Philadelphia.
Both these portrait groups are in the possession of Mrs. Hampton Lea Carson,
Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.A.
The GARY FAMILY, of Boston, taken February isth, 1X42, by August Edouart while on a tour in the
United States, when he made many thousands of silhouette portraits. Height of adult figures about
8 inches, each figure being named and dated.
i 2 3 4
i. SAMUEL FOOTE. Taken at New York, October 3ist, 1839. 2. JOHN FOOTE, by Edouart,
whose children's portraits are particularly happy. 3. EUPHEMIA FOOTE. 4. J. NIMS,
portrait painter. Taken at New York, May :6th, 1840. From the American collection by-
August Edouart. In the possession of the Author.
Portrait cut in shiny black paper, folds of dress and
trimmings are indicated by indented lines, the chain
and brooch are painted in gold.
In the possession of Lady Sackvilie, Knole.
MR. JOHN CUNLIFFE, of York, 1808. Signed, Lewis,
Profilist. 11x9 ins.
In the possession of Mrs. Fleming.
The Anglers' Repast, by William Ward, after Morland, cut out in black paper in facsimile size, mounted on card.
In the possession of Mr. Desmond Coke.
Cut silhouette, probably by Edouart, of verger, with
stave of office.
In the possession of Mrs. Head.
Painted silhouette, black face, buff coat, blue tie.
In the possession of Mrs. Head.
Memorial card cut out of black and coloured papers, some gilt, green, blue, and red. Peacocks, grapes, pickaxe, shovel
are shown, besides the weeping willow and other symbols of grief. The mourning widower is also depicted, and a verse
beginning "Farewell, dear wife, thy loss to us is great." In the possession of Mr. Desmond Coke.
Hand-screen, with dancing figures in silhouette, painted on orange-yellow card.
In the possession of Mr. Desmond Coke.
Hand-screen showing scene at a musical party, painted on orange-yellow card. In the
possession of Mr. Desmond Coke. A similar screen, probably by the same artist, is in
the possession of Dr. Beetham, descendant of Mrs. Beetham, Silhouettist, of Fleet Street.
LOKD YARBOROCGH. Taken at Cowes. WHITEMAX, of Southampton.
LORD HENRY RCSSZLL. SIR TBOS. MC>!AHOX Lieut. -Governor of Portsmouth.
MR. J. P. Dixox.
These brashvork portraits are in the collection of Francis WeUedey. Esq.
Worcester Vase, 13^ inches high, with silhouette of George III. and motto commemorating his Jubilee.
In the possession of Mr. C. F. Spink.
Worcester Vase, 13 inches high, with silhouette of George III., from Knole, Sevenoaks.
GEORGE BROWN, Esq.,
of Everton, Liverpool.
A Member of the Withers
Family, Everton, Liverpool.
Painted in dark olive green touched
with white. Unsigned.
Figures cut out in white paper by Princess Elizabeth. The centre figure is cut so that it throws a
shadow when held between a light and screen. In the possession of Lady Dorothy Nevill.
' "^ ''
c 'u i
Painted family group, relieved with colour. In the possession of A. W. Searley.
MR. and MRS. FISK, of Oxford, with their sons, Marshall and Fred, and daughter, Elizabeth Prudence, who
married Thomas Jackson. Signed, "Aug: Edouart, fecit 1828." In the possession of Miss Emily E. Jackson.
THE BURNEY FAMILY.
X 3h e <^-^ui^h^t
Miss HARRIKT CONXEII. AND Miss FANNY BARTON.
The portraits on this page are in the possession of Francis Wellesley, Fsq.
Portrait of a Boy, early nineteenth
NAFOI.EO.V. Shade on skeleton leaf.
From The Collettor.
Portrait by J. dapp. of the Chain
In the possession of Mr. 0. I.. Kxby.
N.M'OI.KOX. Cut from a single piece of
black paper by unknown artist.
In the possession of Mr. I'esmond Coke.
Portrait of NAPOLKON on lithographed background.
Reproduced from Rdouart's Treatist on Silkouiltes,
published in 183:;.
The late LORD FAUCONHUKC;. Size 15 x 20 ins.
picture at Knole.
Coloured silhouette portrait, early nineteenth
century. Grey dress, blue cap ribbons.
In the possession of Mrs. K. N. Jackson.
SIR HKNRY JOHNSON, G.C.B., and- SIR JOHN JOHNSON, Welsh Baronet, takenjat Bath
in 1827. From Bath Characters, by August Edouart. In the possession of the Author.
ISABELLA LUCAS, aged 36 years,
hawker of tinware.
From Eciouart's l-'olio of Bath
JOHN HOWARD PAYNE, author
of "Home, Sweet Home," etc.
Washington, April 22nd, 1841.
Portrait of a slave, G. WRIGHT, born
in Virginia, belonging to Ch. Oxley.
Taken by Edouart at New Orleans,
March ist, 1844.
This portrait is reproduced to show the
artist's method of naming and dating
all the portraits in his folios, also his
method of adding white for collar,
which is seen as a thin line when
the black paper side of the portrait
MR. DAVID HOFFMAN. Taken
at Baltimore, Dec. 9th, iS4o.
All the portraits on this page are in the possession of the Author.
UNKNOWN. In the possession of
Francis Wellesley, Esq.-.
Supposititious silhouette of WILLIAM
MAKEPEACE THACKERAY reading.
THE PARSON'S LADY.
Bv Master Hubard.
In the possession of Francis Wellesley, lisi].
1'ortrait painted on glass, by Kosenberg, of Bath. Original
frame. In the possession of Mr. Desmond Coke.
BRAV, Historian of Surrey.
In the possession of Francis Wellesley, Esq.
Cut paper portrait, touched with gold.
In the possession of Francis Wellesley, Esq.
Silliouctte iu black anil colour.
In the possession of Mrs. Leggett.
Iu the possession of Francis Wellesley, Ksq.
Fait par JOUBERT , Peintre en miniature.
1'ainted silliouette. In the possession of
Lady Sackville, Knole.
Quaint portrait of a child. In the possession of
Portrait of George III., surrounded by minute lines of
writing, actual size. In the possession of the Author.
Silhouette portrait group. In the possession of Mr. Maberly Phillips, F.S.A.
From the Treatise on Silhouettes, published in 1835.
Silhouettes from Lavater's Lecture X I'll., published in 1794.
Portrait of himselt, sketched liy I'liil May, 1894.
Glass painting by Mrs. Beet ham. showing the real
shadow portrait behind.
Kennedy, of the Aquarium, sketched by Phil May, 1890.
GEORGE III., his wife and family, with footman.
A large, authentic group painted on glass.
All these portraits are in the possession of Mr. Desmond Coke.
" OLD " CROME.
Silhouette, by August Kdounrt.
PACAXINI, by Edouart, considered by the
musician to be the only likeness ever taken
which was not a caricature. From the
Treatise on Silhouettes, published in 1835.
Family group in the all-in-a-row method of the Georgian period.
Family portraits cut out in black paper, mounted on white satin. A wreath of forget-me-nots,
roses, ivy, jessamine, and fern is embroidered, and at intervals lovers' knots of plaited hair are tied.
Ihe nine plaits of white, grey, brown, auburn, and golden hair are probably souvenirs of the
portrait subjects. This interesting specimen is in the possession of Mrs. Wadmore.
Miniature of CHARLES I. cut out of thin paper. In tortoiseshell hainc.
FRANCIS TOWN, born 1796.
Painted on card.
CAPT. J. SMITH, of Dartmouth.
MRS. TOWN. Painted on
card by J. H. Gillespie.
In the possession of Mrs.
NICOLAS BROOKINC,, born
1755, died 1830.
In the possession of Mrs.
MRS. NICOLAS BROOK-
ING, died 1840.
Painted on card by
ELIZABETH HOLDSWORTH BROOKING, SALLY CORNISH (m : e BROOKING),
died 1822. By Watkins. of Scobell, Devon.
All the portraits on this page arc in the possession of Mrs. Young, with the exceptions stated.
SOPHIA MAGDALENE HOLWORTHV, youngest
daughter of Rev. S. Holworthy. Portrait cut
F. C. JONHS, wife of Bishop of
St. Davids, eldest daughter of
NICHOLAS HADDOCK HOLWORTHY,
R.N., born 1761. In the posses-
sion of Mrs. Loggin. of Brighton.
F.MII.Y THURSTON. In the possession
of Mrs. Nicholls.
RKV. J. DIXIE CHURCHILL, Rector
of Blickley, Norfolk. Cut hollow
in white paper over black. In the
possession of F. M. Holworthy, Ksq.
KUWAKU JOHN HOLWORTHY,
Ksg., 3rd son of Rev. S.
Holworthy. of Croxall. Derby-
shire. Major I4th foot. Died
REV. \V. H. HOLWORTHY, 4th son of
Captain Matthew Holworthy. born
1792. Cut hollow in white paper.
AT A IARHE ROOM AUK'IMM; THE likKtHAXTS COKKKK ROOM,
iU&*tt*ft&0 cut u-UA common SCISSORS!
in a few seconds, iri/hovt either Driurhig. or Maeliine, or tiny oilier aid, but by a mere
glance of the EYE!! by MR. SEVILLE, full length figures, Animals.
4fC. ^-c. cut in. any attitude. Prnfilfs faithfully copied. I'lain Bust Is. Two
of the same Person Is. Qd. Elegantly lii-onzed I*, each extra. JframtS in great
variety OH Sale.
From 11 till 1, from 3 till 6,
and from 6 till 9 o'Clock.
ONE SHILLING jraimnw
K .11 Irufih At. or 2 of f . M.
HANDBILL ADVERTISEMENT OF MR. SEVILLE.
THE METTERNICH FAMILY.
Cut paper pencilled with gold. In the possession of
Francis Wellesley, Ksq.
From Edouart's Treatise, published in 1835.
|ewelled silhouette clasp on a
bracelet of garnets.
Portrait by the Russian silhouettist, A. Ro/en.
Signed and dated 1796.
Signed portrait by Rayner,
Silhouette mounted as a ring. It is
shown twice the natural size.
These portraits are in the possession of Madame Nossof, Moscow.
Signed portrait on glass, by Hiibner, dated 1797. Signed portrait of an Officer, by I'ahly.
In the possession of Madame Nossof. Moscow.
:-rr \yntffr y* ,t*
Machine for drawing silhouettes life size.
l^ortrait of GEOR<;E 111. In the possession of Lady
Given by the poet to his friend, J. Cotterall.
Two silhouettes by August Edouart.
The portraits on this page are in the possession of Francis Wellesley, Esq.
DrcHEss OF DEVONSHIRE.
MRS. HOPE. MRS. GRAY.
The portraits on this page are in the possession of Francis Wellesley. Esq.
Silhouette drawings in Indian ink, by Princess Elizabeth, daughter of George III. They were given by the
Princess to Lady Bankes, at Windsor, August 27th, 1811, and are now in the possession of Lady Dorothy Nevill.
In the possession of Francis Wellesley, Esq.
Silhouette of the eighteenth century, painted
In the possession of Mr. Desmond Coke.
In the possession of Francis Wellesley, Esq.
Cut silhouette. In the possession of
Mr. Desmond Coke.
Portrait painted on convex glass, so that the
shadow picture is seen on the flat card behind.
Shadow portrait of a lady delicately painted on
glass. The tortoiseshell comb and gold ear-ring
are in colour.
Shadow picture painted on convex glass.
All the portraits on this page are in the possession of the Author.
Saucer with blue tisli-mark, with ,t'
in gold. Portrait of Dante.
Tea-cup of Fiirstenberg china, in
white and gold, with black
silhouette portrait, 3 inches high.
In the possession of the Author.
l'..iMn and cover in white china with gold ornaments and black
Tea-cup with gold Moral ornament
and black silhouette.
Coffee-cup with gold and coloured garlands,
This porcelain, with the exception stated, is at Knole.
MEMBERS OF THE BINNS FAMILY.
Signed portrait of JAMES SWORD. ESQ., of Armfield, May 2 5 th, 1832, in original bird's-eye maple frame
provided by the artist. This portrait was identified through the discovery of its duplicate, cut at the
time, named, dated, and pasted in Edouart's reference folios.
Portrait of the actor Onoye Takanojo with one of his poems, also a silhouette portrait of the
same actor. One of a series, " Mako no tsuki Hana no Sugata-ye."
("A flower form picture (before) a real moon.")
Signed, Ichiyeisai Yoshiiku, Shasei.
Ichiyeisai Yoshiiku, facsimile.
Pated, Ausei Hare 4 = 4111 month, 1855.
Gold mounted brooch, signed Miers.
The portrait is pencilled in gold.
Painting on ivory, unrelieved black.
1'ainting on ivory. Drapery border
Patch-box of ivory mounted in gold. Portrait signed Miers.
Blue enamelled lid.
Portrait, cut hollow in white paper
laid over black satin, brnshwork Portrait painted on blue tinted ivory
added. mounted in gold.
Painted on glass with composition
backing. The other side of the
pendant has a brown silhouette on
card, by Foster.
All the objects on this page are in the possession of the Author.
A. ROZEN, dated 1796.
Portrait of the EMPEROR PAUL OF RUSSIA
as a child. Signed Losse.
Signed picture by Anthing, the finest silhouettist of Goethe's time.
The central figure is that of C>ustav Adolph.
All the silhouettes on this page are in the possession of Madame Nossof, Moscow.
" ^Isop's Fables " .
Agathaugdus, F. .
Amateur Art Exhibition
Angouleme, Due d"
Bangor, Bishop of
Baptism of Christ
Mrs. 14, 15, 2
Belcredi Family .
Berri, Duchesse de
Bordeaux, Duke de
Briinn Exhibition .
Buck . .
. . 69
. . 63
, . 61, 65
'. . 76
27, 34, 39, 59
. ' . 65
Caroline, Queen .
Carter, Mrs. .
Cavallo, T. .
Charles, A. .
Charles X. of France .
Chotek, Countess .
Cleanthes of Corinth
Cooper, Sir A.
Crates of Sicyon .
. . 69
. 6 5
7, 14, 15, 24
5, 25, 60, 74, 75
" Dedication to the State Depu-
tation of Province of Nym-
wegen " . 47
Delany, Mrs 75
" Description of Bon Magic " . 42
" Detailed Treatise on Silhouettes,
A". . . . . .39
Deverells, The . . 24
" Directions for Silhouette draw-
ing" . 17
Diwali, Festival of . .86
D'Israeli ... 9
Dublin .... .64
Archbishop of '. . .65
Edinburgh . . . . 62, 65
Edouart 15, 18-20, 30, 31, 34, 49-53,
Edridge . 75
Egyptian shadow plays . . 85
Elizabeth, Princess . 5, 7, 75-77
Eton School ... -74
Etruscan potters ... 3
" Falstaff and His Companions " 54
Fermoy ... . . 65
Field, E. J. . - 22
-J. . 14. !8, 21, 22, 27, 59
Fiere, Mrs. '.; . . . 80
Figdor, Dr. . . . . 31, 81
Fitzhenry . . 81, 84
Flaxman . . . . . 13
Focart, 1'Abbe . " . 64
Foster, E. W. . . . 46
Frederick the Great ... 83
Friedrich, Wilhelm II. . . . 18
Froelich, K 54
Fiirstenburg, Landgravine . . 34
Gainsborough .... 74
Gapp, J. 56, 57, 74
George TIL 9, 25, 57, 74, 77, 80, 82
George IV 25, 82
Gibb ... .15
and Charles .... 19
Glasgow Commercial Bank . . 64
Orphan Asylum . .64
Glomi . . . . . 83, 84
Gloucester, Duke of . . . 65
Gochhausen, von . . . 10, n
Goethe . . . 6, 9, 10, 38, 55, 79
Gonard . . . 6, 14, 28, 29, 86
Gordon, Dr 65
Grafton, Duchess of . . .7
Graz Museum . ... '. 25
" Grievances and Miseries of
Artists" .... 59
Guest, Montague . . 6, 24, 26, 57
Haines 15, 59
Harding, E 75
Hardy, E 75
Harrington, Sarah ... 43
Harrison .... 70, 71
Harvard . . . . 71
Hastings, Warren . . .80
Head, Miss 63
Heinemann, Dr. Karl . . .10
Hems, H 46
Henry V 63
Herbert of Geneva ... 7
Herger, E. . .33
Hesse Homburg ... 75, 76
Heyse, P 54
Hill, Rowland . -65
Hohenzollern Museum ... 83
Holyrood ., . . . 56, 62-64
Hoppner " . . . . .74
Howie . . . . . .12
Hubard. . .15, 55-57
Gallery, New York . . 56
Hulbert, J .69
Hunt, Mrs. Leigh . . . . 16
Hutchings, Miss C. J. . . -65
Irving, Edward . . . .65
Kahle, Dr. ... . 85
Kandler ..... 19
Kilham . . . . . .18
King, E. . .... 80
Mrs. . ' . 80
Klenk, Anna .
Konewka, P. .
Latil, Cardinal de
Lavater 6, 10, 15, 38, 39, 40, 62, 79
Le Brunyn . . .
Leisching, J. ...
Lichtwark ... V
Linz, Francesco Carol inum
Louise Marie, Mdlle. .
Mallow . . . ;
Mann, Sir Horace
" March to the Star " .
Marie Theresa, Empress
" Midsummer Night's Dream "
Miers, J. 12, 14, 1 8, 21, 22, 26,
Miers and Field . . .18,
Monbijou Castle .
Napoleon . . " .
Naumann, Prof. .
Nevill, Lady Dorothy .
New York .... 70,
Nuremberg work .
" Oneida " .
Packeny, P. .
" Papyrolomia "
" Papyro-Plastics "
" Parallelogramum Delineatorium "
Parma, Duchesse de .
Parris, E. J. .
Perrenon . . . . 1 7, 28,
Philadelphia . . 70,
Philocles of Egypt
Pyburg, Mrs. , 6, 9,
Randall, H. .
Reynolds, S. W. .
Riviere, H. .
Romhild . . . . 17,
Rosebery, Lord .
Rosenberg of Bath . . 23,
Runge . 54,
Sackville, Lady .
Saratoga .... 70,
Scheiner, Christopher .
Schmid (Vienna) . . .
Scott, Sir Walter .
Sepmanville, Baron de
Silhouette, Etienne de 5, 7,
" Silhouette Likenesses "
Size, Baron de
Slettner, Dr. .
Spink . . . .
St. Benedict .
St. Davids, Bishop of .
Stock Exchange .
" Stork's Beak or Monkey " .
Strauss, Dr. .
Sweden, King and Queen of
Townshend, C. H.
Rev C H
9, 35- 36
Vazon Bay ....
Victoria and Albert Museum
Victoria, Princess .
1 4, 47
Wall, W. G. .
Walpole, Horace .
" Warrington Worthies "
Wellesley Collection 25, 26,
Wellington, Duke of .
West, Benjamin .
William IV. .
William and Mary . 6, 9,
Winfield Scott ...
Worcester . . . . .
Wright, P. . ;
York, Duke of . .
Tfiir'hF**''" 1 t^iT
Tuer, A. ....
Unkles and Klasen
Zeisig . . . . .
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