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[ WAX PORTRAITS [ 
| ^ SILHOUETTES | 

By ETHEL STANWOOD BOLTON 



With an Introduction by 
CHARLES HENRY HART, Esq^ 



Second Edition 



BOSTON | 

| THE MASSACHUSETTS SOCIETY OF THE 
COLONIAL DAMES OF AMERICA 
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INTRODUCTION 

This little brochure on Wax Portraits and Silhou- 
ettes, which I have had the privilege of reading in 
proof, merits the reception and approbation that should 
be accorded to every serious work in a new field of 
investigation. It is true that Mrs. Bolton had very 
fallow ground to plow in, but then it is not every one 
who recognizes the richness of the soil and knows how 
deep to furrow to get the best results out of the un- 
touched field. This applies especially to the first part 
on Wax Portraits, for, while Silhouettes have been 
written upon more or less, Wax Portraits, as far as I 
know, have received but scant attention abroad and 
none at all here. This treatise, therefore, is a most 
valuable contribution to the artistic life in this coun- 
try, presenting in a thorough manner for preservation 
the history of the work of the wax modellers in the 
United States ; and as our pioneer in making wax por- 
traits was a colonial woman, Patience Lovell Wright, 
it is most appropriate that the pioneer history of these 
little gems should come from the Colonial Dames of 
America. 

CHARLES HENRY HART. 
Philadelphia, May, 1914. 

3 



207645 



PREFACE 

The following pages are the outcome of a talkgiven 
before the Massachusetts Society of the Colonial 
Dames, at the rooms of the Society for the Preserva- 
tion of New England Antiquities. The latter Society 
exhibited, under the direction of Dwight M. Prouty, 
Esq., a most interesting collection of wax portraits, 
silhouettes, and miniatures during the winter months 
of 1 9 13-14, and that exhibition made possible this 
sketch. My thanks are especially due to Mrs. Barrett 
Wendell, who encouraged my present undertaking ; to 
Mr. Charles Henry Hart of Philadelphia, who has 
given me many facts, and called my attention to such 
scattered literature as has been written upon both sub- 
jects; to Mrs. William H. Whitridge and Mrs. Fran- 
cis T. Redwood of Baltimore, and to others mentioned 
in the notes. Especially I would offer my grateful 
acknowledgments to those who have been so kind as to 
allow me to copy their treasures for the illustrations. 

. S. B. 

Pound Hill Place 
Shirley, Mass. 



WAX PORTRAITS 



j ^g^^^ gUHE art of modelling in wax is so 
old that it has come down to us 
from a past that is beyond his- 
tory. The ease with which wax 
can be worked has insured its use 



throughout the ages, and its charm is ever the 
same to all generations. In the dim times of the 
past the Egyptian often modelled a deity in wax 
to accompany him on the journey after death, 
and to comfort his soul. So, too, the Greek made 
wax gods for his religious rites and wax dolls 
for his children's play. Later the Romans made 
wax masks of their ancestors imagines to be 
carried in thefuneral procession. Only the nobles 
had the jus imaginum, or right to carry these wax 
impressions. The connection of the idea of the 
wax figure and religious rite persisted long after 
Roman time, for in the middle ages many wax 
figures were used as votive offerings in the 
churches. The old Roman idea in its entirety 



8 WAX PORTRAITS 

continued through the time of Elizabeth, so that 
it was no uncommon thing for a wax image of 
the dead to be borne among the mourners. The 
wax form of Queen Elizabeth herself, which was 
carried, dressed in state robes, in her funeral 
train, is still preserved in Westminster Abbey. 
When at last the Renaissance blossomed over 
Italy, modelling in wax was one of the arts which 
bloomed also, for the great sculptors used that 
medium for many of their masterpieces. 

Modelling in wax has always been done for one 
of two reasons, either as a means to an end or as 
an end in itself. During the Renaissance, doubt- 
less, wax was used for both reasons, but more 
often as a means to an end. The bronze medal- 
lions of Pisano owe their delicacy to the fact that 
they were first modelled in wax. In addition to 
the work done by the medallists, cameo cutters, 
and modellers of coins, even sculptors themselves 
used wax first, as a means of developing an idea. 
Wax is most subtly and exquisitely responsive, for 
every minutest touch can be recorded upon it, 



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,,? ' ,- " * 




GEORGE WASHINGTON 
Patience W 'right 

OWNED BY DR. RICHARD H. HARTE, PHILADELPHIA 



AND SILHOUETTES 



and the touch once made is immortalized as long 
as the wax survives. 

Waxes are so frail, are so subject to the action 
of heat and cold, that not many of the earlier 
groups and portraits have come down to us intact. 
Mr. Lewis Harcourt, in England, has made a 
large collection. They might be roughly grouped 
in three classes, statuettes, allegorical subjects, 
and portraits in relief. The first class, statuettes, 
has less interest for us here in America, since we 
have done nothing of this nature and so have no 
means of comparing our work with theirs. The 
secondclass, allegorical figures in relief, has many 
examples in England. The greatest artist in this 
kind of work was Flaxman, many of whose sub- 
jects were afterwards translated into pottery by 
Wedgwood for his jasper ware. Flaxman also 
made many portraits which were put to the same 
use. He had worked in wax from childhood and, 
like Ball Hughes later, he never abandoned the 
art. 

It is the third class, portraits, with which this 



IO WAX PORTRAITS 

sketch is mostly concerned. The earliest English 
portrait known is abeautifulone of King James I, 
which was done by Allesandro Abondio, the 
younger, an Italian who flourished between 1550 
and 1650. Another sixteenth century wax por- 
trait modeller was Leone Leoni, who left us a 
portrait bust of his friend, Michael Angelo. 

In France the oldest and most interesting wax 
portraits are those by Francois Clouet, which are 
now preserved in the Cluny Museum. Following 
him came GuillaumeDupre and AntoineBenoits. 
The latter was then the best exponent of an art 
which had attained such importance that during 
the time of Louis XIV he was appointed unique 
sculpteur en cire couleur to the French king. 

From the time of Abondio till the close of the 
eighteenth century the modelling of relief groups 
and portraits had great vogue throughout Europe. 
These waxes are of many kinds, as each man 
seems to have been his own arbiter in method 
and coloring. Giorgio Vasari, the chronicler of 
Italian painters, writes of the mediaeval method 




LUCY LORD DUTCH 

John Christian Rauschner 

OWNED BY MRS. FRANCES GILMAN, PORTLAND, ME. 



AND SILHOUETTES II 

of preparing the wax for use: "To render softer, 
a little animal fat and turpentine and black pitch 
are put into the wax, and of these ingredients it 
is the fat that makes it more supple, the turpentine 
adds tenacity, and the pitch gives it a black color 
and consistency, so that after it has been worked 
and left to stand it will become hard." He says 
that colors can be ground, sifted, and mixed with 
wax when made as liquid as possible. White wax 
can be made with white lead, " nor shall I conceal 
that modern artists have discovered the method 
of working in all sorts of colors, so that in taking 
portraits from life, in half relief, they make the 
flesh tints, the hair, and all so lifelike that tfiese 
figures lack nothing but speech." x 

Many portraits were done, as Flaxman's alle- 
gorical figures were, in white wax. But white 
was not always used, for there is in Mr. Har- 
court's collection a beautifully modelled one of 
William Pitt in pink, done by Peter Rouw. This 

'Wax Portraiture; Teall. American House and Garden Maga- 
zine, August, 19x3. 



12 WAX PORTRAITS 

same Peter Rouw was the best of the English 
artists, with the possible exception of S. Percy. 
Others of this same period were G. G. Adams and 
R. G. Lucas. Lucas dispensed with the glass or 
slate background which had been common at an 
earlier date ; and he also made his portraits larger 
than the others. These four men ended the bril- 
liant period of the art in England; those who 
came after in the Victorian era, while they 
modelled with simplicity and considerable feel- 
ing for beauty, yet lacked absolute mastery of the 
method. 

During the best period of this art in England 
an American was doing her share to make it 
notable; and it is a great pleasure to feel that wax 
portraiture in America had so striking a person- 
ality connected with its early history as that of 
Patience Wright, our second American artist, 
a sculptor in wax. 

Patience Lovell was born in 1725, just five 
years after the birth of our first American artist, 
James Claypool, "face painter," in Philadelphia. 




REV. EPHRAIM WARD 
John Christian Rauschner 

OWNED BY CLAYTON C. HALL, ESQ,. , BALTIMORE 




MRS. MARY (COLEMAN) WARD 
"John Christian Rauschner 

OWNED BY CLAYTON C. HALL, ESQ^. , BALTIMORE 



AND SILHOUETTES 13 

She lived at Bordentown, New Jersey, with her 
Quaker parents, and there in 1748 she married 
Joseph Wright. She had in early life modelled 
in putty, dough, or any other pliable material 
that she could find. So when she waslef t a widow 
in 1769, with three children to support, she began 
to model portrait heads in wax. Her talent is the 
more remarkable because she had never had 
the opportunity to see sculptured art at all, nor 
were her Quaker surroundings such as to entice 
her into those fields. Her likenesses were so 
clever that her fame soon spread beyond her own 
locality. In 1772, she and her children went to 
London, where she immediately became the rage. 
Her skill was so great that Horace Walpole wrote 
that "Lady Aylesbury literally spoke to a waxen 
figure of a housemaid in the room." Mrs. Wright 
made many of her models life size and in the 
round. The English periodicals gave her high 
praise andcalled herthe "Promethean modeller." 
One of them adds: "Her likenesses of the king, 
queen, Lords Chatham and Temple, Messrs. 



14 WAX PORTRAITS 

Barre, Wilkes, and others, attracted universal 
admiration. Her natural abilities are surpassing, 
and had a liberal and extensive education been 
added to her innate qualities she would have 
been a prodigy. She has an eye of that quick and 
brilliant water that it penetrates and darts through 
the person it looms on, and practice has made her 
so capable of distinguishing the character and 
disposition of her visitors that she is very rarely 
mistaken, even in a minute point of manners; 
much more so in the general cast of character." 1 
We are told that she did most of her modelling 
with her thumb and forefinger. To an English- 
man, her full-length portrait of Lord Chatham 
would be the most interesting example of her 
work. It found a place in Westminster Abbey 
after his death, and represents him standing in 
his official robes. 

When the Revolution broke out, Mrs. Wright, 
being a hot-headed rebel who could not easily 

^he London Magazine contains a cut of Mrs. Wright seated 
holding a miniature bust of a man. 




REV. ASA EATON, S.T.D. 

John Christian Rauschner 

OWNED BY CHRIST CHURCH, BOSTON 



AND SILHOUETTES 1$ 

hold her tongue, was not as popular in high circles 
as before. She continued, however, to live in 
England, although "with a full purpose of mind" 
to settle her affairs and return to America. Her 
son Joseph had already returned and was making 
marked use of his mother's lessons in wax model- 
ling to design our first coins. In 1775 she exe- 
cuted a relievo of Franklin, which Wedgwood 
made into one of his basaltic medallions ; but a 
life-size bust of Franklin that she made was un- 
fortunately broken to pieces. Perhaps the most 
interesting portrait to Americans is her relief of 
Washington in white wax. It has not the author- 
ity of a life portrait, for it was done from her son 
Joseph's clay bust, which was sent to her in Eng- 
land. The wonderful fact about this wax is, that 
she has modelled from another's work a portrait 
which surpasses the original both in workman- 
ship and in the conception of the character of 
the man. 1 

x The profile of Washington is 9 1-2 inches high, 6 inches wide, 
modelled in high relief of white wax, now yellow. It is owned by 
R. H. Harte, M.D., of Philadelphia. 



16 WAX PORTRAITS 

Patience Wright died in London, March 25, 
1786, leaving one daughter, Phoebe, in England, 
married to John Hoppner, the famous artist; a 
son, Joseph, in America, who won fame and name 
for himself as a painter and as the designer of 
our first coins ; and a daughter, Elizabeth, wife 
of Ebenezer Piatt, who had some of her mother's 
cleverness in modelling in wax. 1 

As we turn from Patience Wright and her 
brilliant career, we feel a little as if we had left 
dry land to wander across a fog-blown, marshy 
stretch, wondering, while a little fear creeps into 
the back of our mind, whether or no we are on 
safe ground, and whether we are going toward 
home. The information about our latter-day 
artists is so vague that with a single exception 
we hesitate to make very definite statements. 
The drop from the clever artists of the late eight- 
eenth century to those of the early nineteenth 
is somewhat sharp. What Mrs. Wright did by 

^ee Patience Wright, Modeller in Wax; by Charles Henry Hart, 
in the Connoisseur, Vol. XIX, page 18. 




LEONARD KIP, OF KIP S BAY 

John Christian Rauscbner 

OWNED BY REV. LEONARD KIP STORRS, D.D., BROOKLINE 



AND SILHOUETTES 17 

genius and her clear white wax and modelled 
shadows they tried to do with less skill and by 
calling in color to carry them over their diffi- 
culty in modelling. They had skill in outline, 
and doubtless their profiles were accurate and 
lifelike, but their modelling shows rather the 
skill of the craftsman than the genius of the 
artist. Their work was often done in lower relief 
than Mrs. Wright's, and shows less skill in the 
modelling of the facial muscles. Nevertheless 
the portraits are fascinating, and call back for us 
a time that is gone. The ladies are all so genteel 
in their dotted muslin gowns, their hair done up 
with combs, or covered with queer mobcaps. 
And each lady has some favorite ring or brooch 
infacsimile upon herflnger or in her dress. Curls 
are there in infinite variety, coyly hanging before 
the ear or more obviously upon the forehead. 
The gentlemen, too, are bedight in their best, 
with their black or brown coat and stock. Some 
wore frills and some wore neckcloths with long 
ends. On the projecting end of one can still be 



l8 WAX PORTRAITS 

seen the finger or thumb print of the modeller. 
They are very attractive. 

One man who seems to have wandered all over 
the eastern side of our country in the early years 
of the nineteenth century was John Christian 
Rauschner, a Dane. Mr. Felt in his annals of 
Salem has a paragraph marked "Wax portraits," 
in which he says: " 1809, J- C Rauschner forms 
these in Salem. Such talent has received but little 
favor, because other modes accomplish its object 
withgreaterconvenienceand satisfaction." With- 
out calling Mr. Felt's accuracy into question, we 
should yet doubt whether he was entirely right, 
as the Essex Institute contains at least nine of 
his wax miniature portraits. One of particular 
interest is a family group, mounted as usual on 
glass painted a light seal brown on the outer 
surface. Inside the oval frame are mounted the 
five members of the Lang family, the father, 
Nathaniel Lang, at the top, and with his wife 
and three children forming an oval of portraits. 
"Lang 1 8 10" is painted in the center in aGerman- 




J. WEPHOUS CURIGER 
George M. Miller 

BLOOMFIELD MOORE COLLECTION, PHILADELPHIA 



AND SILHOUETTES 19 

like script. The wax of Rauschner's portraits is 
colored all the way through, according to the 
mediaeval receipt, and only the small parts, like 
the eyes, eyebrows, and slight shadows, are 
painted in. The fact that the color was continu- 
ous throughout is very visible in the wax of the 
Rev. Thomas Barnard, of the North Church, 
Salem, which in the Essex Institute copy is broken 
at the neck, so that the composition of the wax 
can be seen. This portrait of the Rev. Thomas 
Barnard brings up a very interesting matter, for 
in Salem there are two of him exactly alike. 
Rauschner boarded while he was in Salem with 
the family of Daniel Dutch. Deputy Sheriff 
Dutch was a picturesque character who went 
about as long as he lived in small-clothes, 
probably the last man to wear them in Salem. 
Rauschner modelled portraits of the whole 
family, perhaps to eke out his board, if what 
Felt says of his popularity was true. The one of 
Mrs. Dutch is still preserved in Portland; but 
more interesting than the portrait itself is a mould 



20 WAX PORTRAITS 

of it which is in Concord, and which explains the 
method of duplication of Dr. Barnard's portrait. 
This mould is four and a half inches high by two 
and three quarters wide, covered on the inside 
with a brownish yellow paint. It appears to be 
made of plaster of Paris. Within is an intaglio 
of the lady, with her fine features, double chin, 
and cap. The folds of her muslin short-sleeved 
dress are quite visible. After the wax had been 
pressed into the mould color by color and re- 
moved, the modeller then added the little touches 
of lace, of flower, of comb, ring, and jewelled 
ornament. Mrs. Dutch was Lucy Lord of Ips- 
wich, who married first Aaron Staniford, and 
later Daniel Dutch. All the portraits but the one 
of Mrs. Dutch were melted in a slight fire in 
the Dutch house. Neither portrait of the Salem 
dames had jewelled combs or brooches, but 
Mrs. Dutch's cap was garnished with real lace 
and Mrs. Lang had a real lace guimpe. 

So it seems that Rauschner at least used a 
mechanical means to furnish duplicates of such 



AND SILHOUETTES 21 

of his work as was likely to be in demand, as in 
the case of Dr. Barnard, whose portrait admiring 
parishioners would wish to buy. Perhaps in some 
fortunate time a cache of Rauschner's moulds 
may be discovered as Edouart's duplicate silhou- 
ettes were found, and then we may see many 
whose original waxes have yielded to time. 

Mrs. John Pierce, who was Mary Bates of Bos- 
ton, wears in her wax image a semblance of a 
brooch and ring which her descendants own 
and cherish to this day. The use of seed pearls 
was very common through all the later history 
of the art. Perhaps the best examples are in 
the Boston Art Museum, where the wax of 
Mrs. Johann Christian Gottlieb Graupner fairly 
shines with them. And Our Lady of the Ruff, 
also in the Museum, and of a much earlier date, 
is equally resplendent. 

The portraits by Rauschner which are here 
illustrated are both interesting examples of his 
work. The Rev. Asa Eaton, for many years rector 
of Christ Church on Salem Street, gathered a 



22 WAX PORTRAITS 

congregation of eight hundred about him, and 
was the first to start a Sunday school in this part 
of the world. No one can look upon his gentle, 
refined face, as the wax portrait brings it before 
us, without realizing that he must have been a 
spiritual force in his community. Rauschner 
mounted his work usually upon glass, but in the 
case of the Rev. Mr. Eaton red velvet has been 
used. Leonard Kip, of Kip's Bay, New York, 
was born in 1774, and became a merchant because 
a large part of his family estates had been swept 
away in the Revolution. When "by skill and 
prudence he was enabled to repair his shattered 
fortunes, he withdrew from business, leaving 
behind him an enviable reputation for ability and 
integrity." He died in Hartford in 1846. His 
likeness bears out his history, showing us a fine, 
substantial man of affairs. 

Of Rauschner's personal history very little is 
known beyond the fact that he was in Salem and 
Boston in 1809 and early 18 10. An advertise- 
ment in a Philadelphia paper for September 19, 




MARY JANE (MILLER) QUINCY 
Robert Ball Hughes 

OWNED BY MRS. ALBERT THORNDIKE, BOSTON 



AND SILHOUETTES 23 

1810, found some years ago by Mr. Hart, says: 

John C. Rauschner respectfully acquaints the public 
that he hath returned to this city after an absence 
of nine years. He continues to take likenesses in 
wax composition in color, also family pieces. 

We know that he was in New York City some- 
time during those nine years, and that his place 
of business was at No. 41 Chatham Street. At 
times he worked as a hair-dresser. 

Rauschner, on his return to Philadelphia, did 
at least two wax profiles, those of Aaron Storck 
and his wife Esther. These are "beautifully and 
delicately modelled and are wholly artistic in 
their execution. From the animation and expres- 
sion they could not have been other than excellent 
likenesses." 1 The waxes now in Philadelphia, 
by Rauschner, seem to be few, but those by 
George M. Miller are more common. Miller's 
waxes were smaller than Rauschner's, being only 
about two, or two inches and a half in height. 
They are not as fine as Rauschner's, since they 

1 Charles Henry Hart, Esq., who owns the waxes. 



24 WAX PORTRAITS 

are neither as artistic nor as elaborate. Waxes 
by Miller of Albert Gallatin and Mrs. James 
Madison were exhibited in the Pennsylvania 
Academy of Fine Arts in 1813; in 1814, one of 
Bishop William White; and in 1821, one of 
Talbot Hamilton. There are five others now 
known in Philadelphia. So far as can be found, 
neither Miller nor the Italian Volaperta, who 
modelled wax heads in New York and Philadel- 
phia, ever came to New England. 

In 1806, there was born in London a boy who 
was called Robert Ball Hughes. Very early in 
life he desired to model, but being poor, had to 
wait until he had collected enough candle ends 
to make his first attempt. Similar stories doubt- 
less are told of many other sculptors, too, but be 
that as it may, Ball Hughes finally won a medal 
at the Royal Academy for the best copy of a 
bas-relief of the Apollo Belvidere. Later he 
again succeeded with a bust of George the Fourth. 
In 1829, he came to New York and then to Boston, 
where he finally settled in Dorchester. He lived 




ELIZABETH RODMAN 
Robert Ball Hughes 

OWNED BY MRS. DUDLEY L. PICKMAN, BOSTON 



AND SILHOUETTES 2$ 

there until he died, and those who write books on 
sculpture wonder that in his long life he did 
so little. They call attention to his statue of 
Nathaniel Bowditch in Mount Auburn, the first 
bronze cast in America, and point to "Little 
Nell" in the Boston Athenaeum; but they ignore 
the most delightful expression of his genius, 
which was in modelling reliefs in white wax. 
He worked for many years to find some formula 
whereby he could make a composition that would 
remain white, and having found it, he died with 
the secret untold. His waxes are most exquisite, 
doubly so from their exceeding whiteness and 
beautiful modelling. They are mounted on vel- 
vet, but are slightly raised, so that one gets an 
impression of roundness and shadow. 

Nowhere has he shown to greater perfection 
these qualities of dazzling white and delicate 
modelling than in the portrait of Mrs. Mary 
Miller Quincy, wife of the second MayorQuincy 
of Boston ; and nowhere does the superiority of 
his wax express itself more clearly than in the 



26 WAX PORTRAITS 

glow of the high lights and the blue transparency 
of the shadows. The Elizabeth Rodman shows 
greater boldness of modelling and an effective 
use of high relief. 

With Ball Hughes's death the art languished 
here in America; gradually the frail reliefs 
yielded to time, fire, and careless hands, until 
now there are but a few cherished specimens in 
any city. 

With the surprising revival of interest in sil- 
houettes throughout Europe and America, we 
may hope that there is to be fresh interest in the 
art of modelling in wax, and indeed we have 
the evidence of such an interest in the cheering 
work of Miss Mundy. 




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27 




SILHOUETTES 

LIVERWENDELLHOLMES, 

once on a time in jocund mood, 
wrote verses to a charming un- 
known lady whose portrait was 
exhibited in the Athenaeum gal- 
lery. One stanza shall be given here as an intro- 
duction to our subject: 

"Pray did you ever hear, my love, 

Of boys that go about 
Who, for a very trifling sum, 

Will snip one's portrait out? 
I'm not averse to red and white, 

But all things have their place; 
I think a profile cut in black 

Would suit your style of face!" 

His rather nonchalant attitude towards sil- 
houettes has been echoed frequently throughout 
the ages, for like all arts, and like the Roman 
Empire, the art of silhouette cutting has had its 
rise and its fall. Like wax models, "shades" 
have come down to us from farthest antiquity. 



28 WAX PORTRAITS 

In the tombs of Egypt, the conventionalized 
figures done in profile are but painted silhouettes, 
and are as true to life as our own, except for one 
thing : the Egyptian never learned to draw the eye 
in profile, nor did any artist of Crete, of Baby- 
lon, of Nineveh, or of any other city, until the 
fourth century B.C., when a Syracusan modelled 
it correctly for a coin. The figures on Etruscan 
oil jars and Greek vases are nothing but "shades." 
The first legend of a real shade is that of the 
daughter of Diabutades, who realized that her 
lover was becoming cold toward her. One day, 
as he stood so that the sun cast his shadow upon 
the wall, she outlined it, hoping to keep his image, 
if not his love. There are many variations of this 
story; often it is the tale of a lover whose betrothed 
had died, and whose shadow, as she lay in her 
coffin, was cast upon the wall by the candle at 
her head. It matters not to which legend we 
pin our faith, for the real story is so far removed 
in antiquity that age lends it charm. The Jap- 
anese have always had an appreciation of the 



AND SILHOUETTES 29 

great value that the silhouette possesses, for many 
of their portraits contain, besides the colored 
likeness, a profile done in black wash, as an 
interpretation. 

A silhouette at its best is a thing of real beauty 
and great cleverness; at its worst it is a quaint 
handicraft, which at least shows the dress and 
manners of the day. There is no sequence in type, 
as each has persisted throughout the period of its 
vogue. The types are very numerous, and are 
interesting for the ingenuity shown in making 
and treating the same black shade in new and 
original ways. 

Silhouettes were painted on glass, ivory, or 
plaster, in oil or India ink. One of the earliest 
methods was with the brush and India ink on 
ivory, card, or plaster. This is perhaps not an 
ideal type of silhouette, as it trenches upon the 
province of the miniature, being really a profile 
in monochrome. There were two men in London, 
in partnership at the end of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, who made beautiful silhouettes of this type. 



30 WAX PORTRAITS 

They were John Miers and John Field. They 
advertised that they "execute their long approved 
Profile likenesses in a superior style 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 and Field preserve all 
the original shades by which they can at any 
period furnish copies without the necessity of 
sitting again. Miers & Field, Profile Painters 
and Jewellers." 

Field began his work in 1792, and the firm 
lasted until 1827. The smaller forms have be- 
come so rare as to be found only in a very few 
large collections, but one of Field's small lockets 
is fortunately owned in this country. It is the 
silhouette of Robert C. Hooper, done with ex- 
quisite delicacy, and with the high lights touched 
with gold. Mr. Miers never used gold upon his 
silhouettes, according to tradition, but Mr. Field 
seems to have done so in many instances. His 





z 

> 

2 z 

50 I 
en 

3 S 

ci O 

i I 



c 
I o 

H 

o 




AND SILHOUETTES 31 

silhouette of Hester Savory, that young girl 
whom Charles Lamb is said to have loved, is 
delightfully pencilled with gold. 

Another form of silhouette which flourished 
at this time was that painted on glass. The Eng- 
lish type, which differed from the American, was 
nearly always backed by wax or plaster, and in 
consequence, it is very difficult to find one in good 
condition, since the wax or plaster has nearly 
always been cracked by the heat or cold to which 
it was subjected. Critics tell us that the loveliest 
form of all was that of the likeness painted on 
convex glass, in such a way that one did not look 
directly at the painted face to see the silhouette, 
but upon a white card behind upon which the 
shadow was cast. The beauty and delicacy of 
these is very great, according to their enthusiastic 
admirers. 

Really the variations of method are endless, for 
some artists, not content with plain black paint, 
have used a combination of pine soot and beer, 
which gives a very intense blackness. There 



32 WAX PORTRAITS 

appears to have been a time when beer was the 
do-all and cure-all, for at about this same period 
is found the receipt for cleaning pewter by boil- 
ing it in beer and hay. Be that as it may, these 
silhouettists covered glass with the mixture of 
pine soot and beer, and then removed the back- 
ground from around the portrait, or removed 
the portrait and left the background. The glass 
was then backed with gold leaf, silver leaf, or 
tinsel, so that the result was a gold or silver por- 
trait in a black ground or the reverse. Sometimes 
delicate lines are left to traverse the morebrilliant 
background. 

All these processes demanded a great deal of 
artistic ability, skill in catching a likeness, and 
much charm in drawing. If they had not these, 
the work had little to commend it, for it was mere 
outline. One artist of this type, who flourished 
at the time of Miers & Field, was Charles, an 
Englishman, who with his brush made exceed- 
ingly delicate and lovely silhouettes. His portrait 
of John Lucas, which is reproduced here, was, 




JOHN LANGDON 



OWNED BY W. L. WILLEY, ESQ., BOSTON 



AND SILHOUETTES 33 

despite its small size, one of the most charming 
at the exhibition in Boston. It is so inexpensively 
mounted that neither Charles himself nor his 
sitter could have realized the real beauty of the 
work which one was selling and the other buying 
so cheaply. His work nearly always combines, 
as does this example, fine line work and solid 
black. 

One enthusiast wrote a treatise between 1800 
and 1825 on "Papyro-Plastico, or the art of 
modelling in Paper." In this pamphlet it is ex- 
plained that by sticking three or four sheets of 
paper together, and by working at the back with 
a polishing steel, one can actually make a profile 
portrait in slight relief out of a silhouette cut 
from white paper. He adds that this process 
gives "it the appearance of a marble tablet or a 
plaster cast done by a sculptor." Thus can one 
attain great ends from base beginnings. 

But the silhouette often lapsed from real art, 
when no man of genius gave it his beneficent 
touch. And in those dire days mechanical aids 



34 WAX PORTRAITS 

came into use. It was during one of these periods 
of eclipse that the art acquired the name by which 
we know it today. There lived in France, be- 
tween 1709 and 1767, Etienne de Silhouette, who 
became Controller-General of France. Like all 
prophets he was without honor in his own coun- 
try, for realizing the great calamity which con- 
fronted France, he set himself to preach economy 
to a Court which had never even known its name. 
He translated English writings on finance, and 
endeavored to put his country upon a sound basis. 
He attacked privilege, and reduced the pensions 
of the nobles, till at last his name became synon- 
ymous with all that was mean and cheeseparing. 
So portrait painting languished, and the poor 
mean artof the silhouette, for so itwas considered, 
flourished for a time. Silhouette himself made 
shades by mechanical means. It seems strange 
that it was not until 1825 that the art was finally 
christened with its new name of silhouette. 

In the days of Miers & Field and Charles, 
the scrap-book flourished mightily. Everybody 




1 I 



2 o 

X 25 

> s. 








r7T a" a 4 J J^gA 



AND SILHOUETTES 35 

had one and everybody pasted. Queen Charlotte 
and the Princess Elizabeth made scrap-books, 
and the Princess spent much time cutting silhou- 
ettes to go therein. She cut all kinds of things 
portraits of people and of dogs, hunting scenes, 
and other pictures, parts of which were so fine 
that a sharpened needle was used in cutting. The 
Princess's example was, of course, followed by 
those of less degree, and many a lady cut silhou- 
ettes for her scrap-book or for a friend's. Among 
those ladies was Mrs. Leigh Hunt, who was 
one of the best of the amateurs. Her work is 
unfortunately unsigned, but her portraits of 
Leigh Hunt, of Lord Byron, and of John Keats, 
in 1820, are authentic. 

To Americans a silhouette means nearly always 
a portrait in black paper, pasted upon a white 
ground or vice versa, though sometimes the same 
effect was gained by cutting a hole in a piece of 
white paper and backing it with black paper or 
cloth. A few knowing ones realize that there 
are at least two other types which were made in 



36 WAX PORTRAITS 

America, those painted on glass and those which 
are done in color. The first person who cut sil- 
houettes in England was Mrs. Pyburg, who made 
black paper portraits of King William and 
Queen Mary. After reading English books upon 
silhouettes, you feel that you should as soon for- 
get your mother's name, or the date of the Battle 
of Hastings, as forget Mrs. Pyburg. She began 
things, she is like Adam and Eve; and after 
Mrs. Pyburg, nothing, until in the early nine- 
teenth century England began to send us here in 
America her prodigies. One of the first to come 
was "Master Hubard," whose given names were 
William James, a youth of seventeen. He had 
begun his remarkable career as a silhouettist in 
England at the tender age of thirteen. At seven- 
teen, his genius being ripe for foreign travel, he 
visited us here in Boston. He had previously 
been in New York and Philadelphia, where he 
had exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of 
Fine Arts for three successive years. And we 
in Boston changed his life, for Stuart's paintings 



AND SILHOUETTES 37 

so entranced him that he abandoned silhouette 
cutting as an art and England as his country. 
He chose Philadelphia as his home and, having 
been instructed by Sully, spent the remainder 
of his life as a painter of full-length portraits of 
cabinet size. He died in Richmond, February 25, 
1862, killed by the explosion of a shell he was 
filling for the use of the Confederacy. 1 

While he was in Boston he had a room in the 
Exchange Coffee House, where for fifty cents he 
cut your likeness in twenty seconds. He called 
his art "Papyrolamia." Usually his cards have 
" Hubard Gallery" in the left-hand corner. The 
portrait of John Gray Park, which is by Hubard, 
unfortunately does not show the mark. He cut 
full-length portraits as well as busts, and like his 
predecessors used India ink and gold pencilling. 
And when the likeness was complete he would 
frame it "in black glass in elegant oval, round, or 
square frames, gilt or black," for which he would 

1 See Mr. Charles Henry Hart's article in the Outlook for Octo- 
ber 6, 1900. 



38 WAX PORTRAITS 

charge from fifty cents to two dollars. The 
Homer 1 family, of Boston, sat to him for their 
likenesses. Unfortunately it is not possible to tell 
which Homer is which, but they are marked, 
"Cut with scissors by Master Hubard without 
drawing or machine at the gallery of cuttings 
and Philharmonicon Concert Room." This short 
advertisement differentiates him from all of those 
who had preceded him in America. Silhou- 
ettes had been made, but only by a machine. 
The earliest and most important of these were 
cut at Peale's Museum in Philadelphia. Soon 
after the Revolution Charles Willson Peale, the 
artist, opened a gallery, which consisted for the 
most part of paintings of people of national im- 
portance. Here he had also the silhouette cutter, 
which was worked in such a way that the profile 
is a hole cut from white paper. The portrait was 
then mounted upon black. The silhouette of 
Moore Wharton, which was cut at Peale's Mu- 
seum, shows the texture of the black cloth very 

1 Owned by Grenville H. Norcross, Esq., of Boston. 



AND SILHOUETTES 39 

distinctly. The great English authority on silhou- 
ettes tells us that this form is unknown in Eng- 
land, and cites five examples in the Library of 
Congress as extremely rare. The truth is that it 
is almost the commonest form of small silhouette 
with us. The machine, so far as has been proved, 
never did more than the bust. Peale cut silhou- 
ettes of all the great men of his day. 

What Peale did for Philadelphia, William 
Bache and William King did for New England 
and the north. Of Bache little is known; on the 
silhouette of George Wythe of Virginia, cut in 
1804 f r Jefferson, Mr. Hart found his Christian 
name. He cut by mechanical means and prob- 
ably with the same kind of machine that Peale 
used. He marked his portraits with a stamp 
which reads " Bache's Patent." The silhouette of 
Mrs. Devereux shows the mark very plainly. 
Bache did many Salem worthies. Salem is, in 
fact, a happy hunting ground for the lover of wax 
or silhouette, for Salem people seemed desirous 
of allowing their likenesses to pass down to pos- 



40 WAX PORTRAITS 

terity. Among others who made silhouettes in 
Salem must be included Mr. Joye, whose name 
appears upon a delightful portrait in India ink. 
To return to Mr. Bache, it is worthy to note that 
he did not slavishly adhere to his cutting machine, 
for he often embellished his work with India ink, 
not only in graceful outlines of hair or frill, but 
with a ruffle which extended entirely across the 
silhouette. 

Mr. Felt, in his Annals of Salem, tells of an 
exhibition of silhouettes in 1791 : "Mr. Bowen's 
likenesses of General Washington and lady and 
others, from the Boston Museum, begin to be 
shown at the Assembly Rooms. Admission for 
each adult 1/6." He adds that there were similar 
exhibitions of silhouettes "in 1799, 1801, and 
since." He does not tell, nor does the advertise- 
ment, whether or not the exhibit was to catch 
victims for the silhouettist. He does tell in short 
terse sentences of William King's career in Salem 
in 1804: "William King comes to take profiles. 
He has much to do in this department. He was 



AND SILHOUETTES 41 

succeeded by several others. Such art has since 
lost its attraction." 1 Bache was probably one of 
King's successors, as he is supposed to have been 
in Salem about 18 10. King does not seem to have 
enjoyed much prosperity; perhaps he fell upon 
lean years, for before the following season he had 
moved to Portsmouth. He advertised that he 
had taken rooms at Colonel Woodward's, where 
he cut likenesses for twenty-five cents. Later 
on, William Bentley, of diary fame, records his 
further progress northward, but after 1807 ne 
disappears from view here in New England. 

"1807 Feb. 6th 2 Mr. King has a panorama 
still in Salem. It is the siege of Tripoli. The 
ships are done by [Michele Felice] Corne, for- 
merly living in the town and introduced by E. H. 
Derby from Naples. The ships are good, but the 
whole admits some improvement. The profits 
from such Exhibitions in Salem are said to be 

1 Vol. II. Miss Mary C. Crawford called my attention to these 
interesting items. 

'Diary of William Bentley, Vol. Ill, 1803-10, p. 276. 



42 WAX PORTRAITS 

much less than in Marblehead. Few visit in the 
daytime. Commercial habits enquire how much 
by it? His profile cutting produced him more in 
Halifax, N. 8., than in Salem." 

The Salem record of silhouettes would not be 
complete without one more quotation from the 
"Annals," which is interesting because it brings 
before us another name for the art, and a new 
name upon the roster of those who really cut sil- 
houettes. "1828 Master Hanks, as the successor 
of the celebrated Master Hubard, is advertised 
as capable of delineating every object in nature 
and art with extraordinary correctness. This he 
did by means of paper and scissors, merely look- 
ing at the subject represented. It took him but a 
few minutes to give an exact bust of any person 
he saw. At Concert Hall, where his talent was 
fully and successfully tested, was the Papyro- 
tamia, or a curious collection of paper cuttings. 
Admission twenty-five cents. In this department 
of art several young women of Salem have greatly 
excelled." 




b 




AND SILHOUETTES 43 

No signed example of his work has been seen 
in New England, but there is one in Baltimore, 
of "Miss Henrietta Moffit at the age of about six 
years." 1 So Master Hanks may have visited the 
cities up and down the coast, but he has left no 
further biographical detail. 

The wandering silhouettist is hard to trace. 
On a few portraits "Williams" is stamped, and 
they are nearly always mounted in such a way 
that the name can only be read by Alice's Look- 
ing-glass methods. Who he was does not appear, 
but a portrait of an unknown man is herewith 
reproduced in the hope that some day more may 
be known of Williams. 

Boston boasts but one local silhouettist, Wil- 
liam M. S. Doyle, who became the partner of 
Daniel Bowen. Bowen had established a museum 
in 1791 opposite the Bunch of Grapes Tavern on 
State Street. Later he was in a hall over the 
schoolhouse on Hollis Street. In 1795, Bowen 
and Doyle moved again to the corner of Brom- 

1 Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Whitridge, Baltimore. 



44 WAX PORTRAITS 

field and Tremont Streets. They had very bad 
luck, for the building was burned in 1803, and 
again in 1807, when they were just north of 
King's Chapel. After the second fire Bowen left 
Boston, and Doyle continued by himself. About 
181 1, Abel Bowen, a son of Daniel, determined 
to take up the trade of making woodcuts, and 
oddly enough his first commercial venture was a 
cut to be used by Doyle as an advertisement. 

Wm M. S. DOYLE 
Miniature and Profile Painter 
Tremont Street, Boston, next House north of the 
Stone-Chapel, the late residence of R. G. Amory, 
esq. Continues to execute Likenesses in Miniature 
and Profile of various sizes (the latter in shade or 
natural colours) in a style peculiarly striking and 
elegant, whereby the most forcible animation is 
obtained. 

Some are finished on composition, in the manner 
of the celebrated Miers, of London, 
'.'Prices of Profiles from 25 cents to I, 2 & 5 

dollars. 
Miniatures 12 , i$ f 18 and 20 dollars, 
Dec. 17. [1811] 1 

1 My thanks are due to Miss H. C. Cattanach for bringing this 
advertisement to my attention. 



AND SILHOUETTES 45 

Doyle made most of his silhouettes in the 
manner of his predecessors ; sometimes they were 
cut out of black paper and pasted on a card, and 
sometimes he made them of white paper, with 
theportrait holebacked with blackpaper. Which 
way our silhouette of Bishop Cheverus was cut is 
hard to tell, but the face of the Bishop stands forth 
in all its sweetness andstrength. Bishop Cheverus 
was the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Boston, 
and was one of the best beloved citizens of the 
town in the early years of the nineteenth century. 
He was translated later to be Archbishop of 
Bordeaux, then one of the highest offices of the 
church in France. He never forgot Boston and 
his friends there, and few citizens of that town 
ever visited Paris without receiving great kind- 
ness from the Archbishop. Doyle did other sil- 
houettes, though they are not numerous. Among 
the more famous is one of Samuel Foster, a sol- 
dier of the Revolution and member of the Boston 
Tea Party. 

Before passing on to the great lights of the 



46 WAX PORTRAITS 

thirties and forties, Edouart and Brown, there 
are a few isolated facts which seem worthy of 
mention. At the American Antiquarian Society 
in Worcester, Massachusetts, are three profile 
portraits, gilt on a background of black, which 
appear to be painted on glass. The names of the 
artists are appended to these portraits, and give 
them an added value, as they bring to mind some 
famous names. The silhouettes of Madison and 
Gallatin are marked "C. P. Polk, fecit," and 
were done by Charles Peale Polk, a nephew of 
Charles Willson Peale. He, like his uncle, was 
more known as an artist than as a silhouettist, 
and is chiefly famous for his portrait of Washing- 
ton, of which he made some fifty copies. The 
other silhouette at Worcester is marked "A. P. 
Doolittle, fecit," and may perhaps have been 
done by Amos Doolittle, of New Haven, one of 
our early engravers. In the catalogue of an 
exhibit by the Colonial Dames of Maryland, 
in 191 1, there is mention of two other silhouettes 
of this kind, representing members of the Briscoe 



AND SILHOUETTES 47 

family. 1 As they are called "gold silhouettes," 
they may perhaps have been done with beer and 
soot. The portrait of Lucy Ames Wheeler rep- 
resents the commoner way of making a silhouette 
on glass. An oval was outlined in gilt on glass, 
and the space outside the oval was filled out to 
the frame with black. The portrait was then 
painted in black within the oval, and a white card 
was placed behind it to emphasize the black. 
This simple form which the leaner pocketbooks 
of our ancestors forced us on this side of the 
Atlantic to indulge in, really lasted longer than 
the more pretentious English ones with their 
backing of wax or plaster. Glass profiles in 
black are not as common as the life-size portraits 
which were painted on glass in color, such as the 
George and Martha Washington, which are often 
found done in this way. 

The same exhibition catalogue contains the 
name of Dewey, a silhouettist unknown to us at 
theNorth ; hemade aportrait in black of Ambrose 

1 Owned by Mrs. Cradock, Pikesville, Md. 



48 WAX PORTRAITS 

Clark 1 in 1800. There is a second silhouette made 
by him in Salisbury, Maryland. 2 

Naturally portraits of Washington have always 
had greater interest for the collector than those 
of any other American. This fact has brought 
to light the names of many early silhouettists who 
might otherwise have sunk into the night of 
oblivion. J. F. Vallee and S. Folwell, in Phila- 
delphia, made silhouettes of him in India ink, 
and Sarah ( ?) De Hart cut him with scissors. 
There is a very attractive silhouette of Washing- 
ton in Wansey's Travels, but by an unknown 
person. Its printing, by woodcut on rather rough 
paper, gives it a charming softness of appearance. 
Samuel Powell, again a Philadelphian, made 
silhouettes from shadows cast by a lamp. More 
and more as the facts come to light is one im- 
pressed by the great popularity of the shade in 
times past. 

Another interesting type of silhouette is that 

1 Owned by Mrs. William A. Fisher, Baltimore. 
3 Mrs. William Graham, owned by L. M. Gunby. 




GEORGE PHILLIPS PARKER 

Auguste Edouart 

OWNED BY MISS MARIAN JEFFRIES, BOSTON 



AND SILHOUETTES 49 

painted in color on paper. The frontispiece of 
this monograph is a delightful example of this 
style, and is particularly interesting in that it rep- 
resents John Erving, Esq., his wife, Maria Cath- 
arina, and their daughter Abigail. Mrs. Erving 
was the daughter of Lieutenant General William 
Shirley, one of the Colonial governors. The 
whole style of the picture is delightful, with its 
soft color, its quaint grouping and costume. The 
usual form of these coloredsilhouettes wasmerely 
the head and shoulders. These were most often 
framed in squareblack lacquer with an oval open- 
ing in the center, embellished by a rim of brass or 
gilt which being cut in long tongues at the back 
served to hold the silhouette in place. None of 
these silhouettes is signed except one which comes 
from the town of Richmond, Massachusetts. It 
has its maker's initials upon the back, with the 
statement that he has sent the better of the two 
which he had painted. It represents a man in a 
black coat, the folds of which are accentuated by 
applying the black paint so thickly that it shines. 



50 WAX PORTRAITS 

The inner waistcoat is very stiff, and with the 
collar is carefully striped blue and white. The 
complexion is florid and brownish in tone, per- 
haps indicating that the man was tanned. The 
hair is carefully and wonderfully painted, and 
has the part running across the top of the head. 
The colors are in a most perfect condition, for 
they appear never to have been exposed to the 
light. 1 It is fortunate for the history of the art 
that the story of this rather obscure follower 
should be known. An aged inhabitant of the 
town wrote down her recollections of the man 
who painted the profiles, and a most interesting 
tale it is. 

"These are the facts as to those silhouettes: 
On March 4th, 1806, Martin Griffing, aged 22 
years, while painting the steeple of the Congre- 
gational Church, fell to the ground and broke his 
back, and was picked up for dead, but rallied and 
lived to be 75 ; he never walked again. He picked 
up this work of making these profiles, as he called 

1 Owned by R. Henry W. D wight, Esq., of Boston. 




JANE E. C. AND GEORGE W. CHAPMAN 

Auguste Edouart 

OWNED BY MISS J. E. C. CHAPMAN, CAMBRIDGE 



AND SILHOUETTES 51 

them, and invented some machine for thepurpose ; 
most of them were plain black, though he painted 
some of them, which we have now. He began the 
work as soon as he was able to ride about, and 
cleared the first year $1,500. He worked in this 
(Berkshire) and some adjoining counties; also 
in Vermont and New York State. 

" While cleaning the garret, we found an en- 
velope with 25 or more silhouettes of ministers 
he had kept together, and with their names. He 
worked at this for about two years, I think, or until 
he covered quite a territory, but it finally became 
tiresome for him to ride so much, as there were 
no railroads, so he picked up the trade of shoe- 
making and cobbled at his home in this town until 
he was past 70 years old." x 

During the twenties at Bowdoin, and doubtless 
at other colleges, the silhouette was used for class 
pictures, and class albums were as much a part 
of a senior's life then as they are at present. The 
College Library is fortunate to possess the silhou- 

1 From the Dwight Collection (Americana). 



52 WAX PORTRAITS 

ette albums of the classes of 1824, 1825, and 1826, 
for these were interesting days at the college. 
The album of 1824 is bound in morocco and has 
alternate black and white leaves. The silhouettes 
are cut as Peale's and Bache's were holes in the 
white paper, with the alternate black leaves serv- 
ing as a background. These class profiles are 
particularly interesting, as they contain among 
their number Franklin Pierce, afterwards Presi- 
dent of the United States, and Calvin E. Stowe, 
later famous as the husband of Harriet Beecher. 
The silhouettes of the class of 1826 are loose 
sheets unmounted, but one can still find among 
them the youthful face of William Pitt Fessen- 
den, the famous senator from Maine. The most 
interesting of all is the profile of Henry Wads- 
worth Longfellow as a senior in 1825. I* 1S m " 
teresting to place the portraits of our two poets 
Whittier and Longfellow side by side, and to 
realize how utterly different their youthful faces 
are from the likenesses to which we have grown 
accustomed. 



AND SILHOUETTES 53 

These albums must have had a considerable 
vogue, for there is one in Boston 1 containing some 
silhouettes marked by Peale and Bache, and 
another in Baltimore. 2 In the former case the 
two outer corners of the sheets are tipped with 
glue, so that some hard substance would have 
to be inserted between the black leaf and the 
white, during the cutting. The album contains 
silhouettes of many statesmen, friends of the 
Josiah Quincy of that day. 

There are two unsigned silhouettes which have 
been included among the illustrations here be- 
cause the people who are pictured are interesting 
and the silhouettes themselves are delightful. 
One is a small bust of our war governor, John A. 
Andrew. The other is of Judge James Kings- 
bury, the first settler of Cleveland, Ohio. He 
and his family started by wagon across New 
York State. They drove a cow with them, for 
Mrs. Kingsbury had a small baby. During the 

1 Owned by Mrs. M. A. DeWolfe Howe. 
8 Miss E. K. Barnard. 



54 WAX PORTRAITS 

long journey a heavy snowstorm came up, so 
heavy that the cow could get no nourishment, and 
died of starvation ; the little baby died in conse- 
quence. This trouble and sorrow almost make us 
forgive him for his extremely stodgy appearance. 
As was true of the wax portrait modeller, so it 
appears to be true of silhouettists, that the men 
who ended a period reached the highest level. 
In America the art of silhouette cutting culmi- 
nates with two men, Auguste Edouart, a French- 
man, and William Henry Brown, an American. 
Edouart was born in France in 1788, and after 
following the fortunes of Napoleon, found refuge 
in London in 18 15. For some time he earned his 
living by teaching French, but as the refugees 
became more numerous and competition greater, 
he was forced to abandon this occupation for one 
less crowded. At first he made portraits out of 
hair, which he called mosaics, his subjects being 
both human and canine. He subsisted in this 
fashion until his wife's death in 1825, when he 
lost all ambition, and as his means of livelihood 




JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER 
OWNED BY MRS. WALTER G. CHASE, BOSTON 



AND SILHOUETTES 55 

failed he became much depressed. The story of 
his chance interest in silhouettes is worth record- 
ing, because it is a true exemplification of "Great 
oaks from little acorns grow." One day while 
visiting friends at tea the younger members of 
the family brought in some silhouettes which they 
had that day had taken by a machine at the coun- 
try fair. Edouart, interested, remarked that he 
himself could do better. Egged on by the young 
people, he proved his contention, and in conse- 
quence began the career by which he became 
known on both sides of the Atlantic. His first 
full-length portrait was of Dr. Majendie, Bishop 
of Bangor. It was such a success that the Doctor 
had forty copies made. Soon after he began his 
career, he injured his index finger while assisting 
a lady over a stile. Her dress caught on a nail 
which protruded, and while endeavoring to 
remedy the trouble he was hurt severely. The 
finger gave him great distress, and he was unable 
to go on with his business, until one night he 
dreamed that he could cut as well by using his 



56 WAX PORTRAITS 

middle finger. Thereafter he always cut with 
his second finger as long as he worked; in fact, 
there is an old daguerreotype which shows him 
holding his scissors in that fashion. At the begin- 
ning of his career, when his fame had not become 
that of a real artist, he had to endure much social 
obloquy. A "shade man" was no better, at the 
time, than any beggar or pedlar; so that he had 
often to endure cold looks and snubs from former 
acquaintances. But this season was short, for his 
real genius began to be appreciated, and he him- 
self was soon taken back into favor. He travelled 
all over England and visited Scotland and Ire- 
land. It seems safe to say that nearly all the great 
men of his day in the British Isles had their por- 
traits cut by him. 

He took his art most seriously, so seriously, in 
fact, that he issued a book in 1835. The volume 
is called, "A Treatise on Silhouette Likenesses by 
Monsieur Edouart, Silhouettist to the French 
Royal Family, and patronized by His Royal 
Highness, the late Duke of Gloucester and the 





HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW, I 825 
OWNED BY THE BOWDOIN COLLEGE LIBRARY 



AND SILHOUETTES 7 

principal Nobility of England, Scotland, and 
Ireland." In this book Edouart makes an appeal 
for the art in its purity, for he says that the black 
shade is the essential, and accessories detract from 
what should be the real effect. It should be the 
true shadow of the man or woman in question. 
Such silhouettes as the one of Abigail Winship 
Robbins, with black face and white mobcap, 
caused him the greatest irritation, and in his 
final tirade against such things he hurls forth, 
"I should 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." As it was the day of paint- 
ing on glass, perhaps those who indulged in such 
"bigarrades" may have had some excuse for 
decking their shades in color. It was Edouart, 
by the way, who finally christened the shade a 
"silhouette." 

Edouart was so prolific that in the ten years 
before he published his book he cut nearly fifty 



58 WAX PORTRAITS 

thousand silhouettes. He sold the silhouettes of 
celebrated characters for three shillings. His 
prices varied a little from time to time, but the 
scale was in general much as follows : 



Full length 


5/ 


Sitting 


7/ 


Children under 8 


3/6 


Bust 


2/6 



"Families were attended at theirown residences," 
and accessories such as harps, hobby horses, etc., 
were charged in proportion. He was a gentleman 
in all his ways, and ever and always refused to 
sell a lady's picture to strangers. Many and in- 
teresting were the means taken by the young men 
to get pictures of pretty girls, but they were never 
successful where Edouart was concerned. 

In 1839, Edouart set sail for America, and he 
spent the next ten years here, cutting silhouettes 
at the rate of manyhundred a year. Heprospered 
greatly and his opportunities for meeting the 
famous men of the day must have made his life 
interesting and varied. The silhouette group of 




JUDGE JAMES KINGSBURY, THE FIRST SETTLER OF CLEVELAND, OHIO 
OWNED BY MRS. WALTER G. CHASE, BOSTON 



AND SILHOUETTES 59 

Daniel Webster and Jonathan Phillips sitting 
together is very dignified, restful, and impressive. 
Perhaps it might be said here that Edouart pre- 
ferred to cut the whole figure, because he con- 
tended that the proportion of the figure, the 
manner of dress, and the attitude were of as much 
importance in delineating the character as was 
the face. Groups gave an opportunity for con- 
trast in proportion, and were therefore much 
esteemed by him. One has only to look at the 
Abbott Lawrence or the Smith group to realize 
the truth of the statement. These he has rendered 
still more attractive by the room, drawn in sepia, 
in which he placed his portraits. The Abbott 
Lawrence family are grouped in their library on 
Park Street, Boston, which is so well drawn that 
those who are privileged to penetrate the inner 
precincts of the Union Club recognize it at once. 
His cleverness in cutting is best shown in the 
portrait of an "Unknown man" which is not cut 
in exact profile, but alittle turned away. Another 
Boston group which is of interest is that of the 



60 WAX PORTRAITS 

Rev. John Pierpont and his first wife, Mary 
Sheldon Lord. Between them stands their little 
granddaughter, Mary Lord Pierpont, afterwards 
Mrs. James Crosby, toward whom each grand- 
parent extends an admonishing finger. The sil- 
houette was taken at the time when Mr. Pierpont 
was minister at the Hollis Street Church, and 
shows him in his robes of office, very solemn 
and stern. Often, when the background was not 
washed in in sepia, the portrait was mounted on 
a lithographed card. George Phillips Parker is 
an example of this kind; what could better hold 
up a mirror to the times than this same silhouette 
and its background? Here are the ladies in their 
bonnets and shawls, the men in their high collars, 
and Mr. Parker lecturing on temperance, the 
great new movement then sweeping over the coun- 
try and laying the ax at the root of many a flour- 
ishing apple orchard. The Chapman children 
finish the series of pictures of the costumes of 
the time: the little girl in full skirt and panta- 
lettes, holding a crooked stemmed rose ; the boy 



AND SILHOUETTES 6l 

stiff in small size men's clothes, standing with his 
hoop. 

Edouart visited every large city in the United 
States during the ten years he spent here, but he 
did a vast deal at Saratoga in 1841 and 1842. 
After ten years he determined to return to Eng- 
land, and so set sail in the Oneida in 1849. He 
had a very rough voyage, and was finally ship- 
wrecked on the Islandof Guernsey. On the island 
he was befriended by a family who did much for 
him ; v^hen he was about to resume his journey, 
he presented the daughter, Frederica Lukens, all 
the volumes of his silhouettes, fourteen in num- 
ber, which had been rescued from the shipwreck. 

Edouart had always cut his silhouettes in dupli- 
cate, one of which he pasted, with the sitter's 
autograph, in a huge scrap-book. Most of these 
books went down with the Oneida, but some of 
the American books were saved. For many years 
the rescued books lay hidden in the Island of 
Guernsey until they were finally brought to light 
and sold during the past year. And Edouart, 



62 WAX PORTRAITS 

broken in health and in spirit, betook himself 
to a small town near Calais, where he spent the 
few remaining years of his life. He never cut 
any more portraits, so that the work which he did 
in America was his last. 

That Edouart was a real artist few will deny, 
and he was so serious in it that he never descended 
to caricature, an obviously easy way to express 
his meaning. He had a great aptitude for seizing 
the salient point of a face or figure, and in his 
silhouettes a gesture, a pose, or an arrested move- 
ment often gave his portraits a more than photo- 
graphic likeness. 

Just now, because of the sale of his duplicates, 
Edouart is having great vogue, and is somewhat 
pushing into the background our own native-born 
genius, William Henry Brown, who was at least 
a good second, if not his equal, in the art. Brown 
was born in 1808 in Charleston, South Carolina, 1 
and was like Patience Wright, of Quaker ances- 

*See Charles Henry Hart's article in the Outlook for October 6, 
1900. 




m 

ABIGAIL WINSHIP ROBBINS 
OWNED BY MISS ELLEN A. STONE, LEXINGTON 



AND SILHOUETTES 63 

try. He began early to show his inclination for 
the work to which he was destined. His first por- 
trait of importance was a silhouette of Lafayette, 
done during his last visit to this country. Brown, 
like Edouart, preferred to cut the whole figure, 
and he soon became so popular that he had a set 
of lithographed backgrounds as did Edouart. 
John Randolph of Roanoke is probably set in the 
surrounding chosen by himself as most char- 
acteristic. 

Brown was quicker in his cutting than Edouart, 
his time varying from one minute to five. He had 
an eye which took in the subject instantaneously, 
and it is said of him that he never forgot, and 
that years after he could duplicate his pictures 
from memory. He did not always use a back- 
ground, but sometimes a wash of black to sug- 
gest the ground, as in the horseback picture of 
John Parker, Jr. 

Edouart's silhouettes are cut with more ele- 
gance than Brown's, but the latter's are on the 
whole as convincingly true to life. Brown cut 



64 WAX PORTRAITS 

the silhouettes of as famous people of this coun- 
try as did Edouart, and in addition he cut very 
elaborate compositions. Volunteer fire engine 
companies "adored" to be cut in silhouette, with 
all their apparatus. One composition of this 
kind in St. Louis was twenty-five feet long, and 
contained the portrait of every member of the 
company. 

Brown was so quick in getting a likeness that 
he often surprised people by showing them sil- 
houettes of themselves when they had been totally 
unconscious that they had posed for him. He 
could catch and cut a passerby in the street. 
He gained money easily and spent it as easily, 
so that he never grew rich from his work. 
Mr. Charles Henry Hart, in his charming arti- 
cle, "The Last of the Silhouettists," 1 speaks of 
Brown from a personal encounter with the man 
in 1874, in the mountains of Pennsylvania. He 
says that "he was of fair height and massive 
frame, but these failed to conceal the unusual 

Outlook, October 6, 1900. 



o 

r 

s % 

> 




AND SILHOUETTES 65 

magnitude of his head, which put to shame 
Daniel Webster's famous 'size 8' hat. One fea- 
ture of his face was noticeable to even an ordinary 
observer, and that was the abnormally wide dis- 
tance between his two eyes, which was, as he said, 
his one point of resemblance to George Wash- 
ington. He was a fluent and agreeable talker; 
indeed, he was such a conversationalist that he 
was admitted into close companionship with the 
prominent men of his day, most of whom were 
cut by him ; and his reminiscences were highly 
entertaining." 

In 1846, Brown published a book which he 
called the "Portrait Gallery of Distinguished 
American Citizens, with Biographical Sketches." 
It was issued at Hartford, Connecticut, by E. B. 
& E. C. Kellog, and is now rare, as most of the 
edition was burned. Among those who appear 
in the book are Chief Justice John Marshall, 
John Quincy Adams, Richard Channing Moore, 
Andrew Jackson, John Forsyth, William Henry 
Harrison, John C. Calhoun, De Witt Clinton, 



66 WAX PORTRAITS 

and many others. Calhoun wrote to Brown, as 
quoted in his book, "I take pleasure in bearing 
testimony to your great aptitude in taking like- 
nesses in your way." 

The likeness of John Randolph of Roanoke 
is reproduced from Brown's book, for we are so 
fortunate as to have a copy in Boston at the Public 
Library. The volume is well worth study, and has 
several very interesting characteristics. All the 
silhouettes face to the right, and all have elabo- 
rate lithographed backgrounds. Daniel Webster 
stands with his hands in his pockets ; his hair and 
the outline of his clothes are touched with white. 
The portrait of Bishop White has an interesting 
background in the book, though the copy from 
which our illustration is taken has none. The 
silhouette of Dr. Thomas Cooper, who was a 
famous South Carolina chemist, shows his trou- 
sers tied at the bottom, so that they have the 
appearance of ruffles. 

Although it is not so recorded, Brown must 
have cut the silhouette of Dr. Prince, of Salem, 



AND SILHOUETTES 67 

and you can feel as you look at his grim face that 
sinners would receive short shrift if they relied 
upon his tender mercies. Salem, indeed, offered 
a rich harvest for Brown, and the Essex Institute 
there has many examples of his work, which in 
the mass are exceedingly clever. In 1859, when 
the camera finally put to flight this more human 
means of taking likenesses, Brown dropped his 
work and entered the employ of the Huntington 
and Broadtop Railroad. The "last of the silhou- 
ettists" died in his native city, Charleston, on 
September 16, 1883, and with him ended the his- 
tory of those in our country whose work is known 
to fame. There are, however, silhouettists among 
us still. Some thirty years ago, at one of the fairs 
which was held in the huge building of the 
New England Manufacturers' and Mechanics' 
Association in Boston, there appeared a cutter 
who was very skillful. His silhouettes were done 
with the scissors, with black paper in duplicate, 
and pasted on cards. That Mechanics' Building, 
on the site of the Huntington Avenue ballground, 



68 WAX PORTRAITS 

was burned in 1886, and the rivalry between it 
and the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic 
Association ceased; the great fairs then came to 
an end, and the silhouette cutter went his way. 
Within the past ten years, James H. Pleasants, 
another man who lives by the magic in his scissors, 
has visited Boston and plied his trade in an art 
store on Boylston Street. But the silhouette cutter 
comes rarely now, and the reviving "shadow 
picture" is made by mechanical means, either 
by drawing or with the camera. 

Nearly every silhouettist advertised that he 
would sell shades of famous people whom he had 
cut. Edouart and Brown, with magic in their 
scissors and a memory that was phenomenal, 
could make duplicates without trouble. It was 
the poor artist who used mechanical aids to whom 
this branch of his work brought terror. It was 
easy to make the first silhouette with a machine, 
but difficult to make copies in number. John J. 
Hawkins, a London silhouettist, wrote in 1803 
to Charles Willson Peale describing his method: 



AND SILHOUETTES 69 

"I have made great improvements in the art 
of multiplying Profiles. I take any paper profile 
& varnish it with thick shell lac varnish; then 
lay a piece of paper with this varnished Profile 
on it in the brass frame in which the profiles are 
taken, & black the paper thro the varnished Pro- 
file on to the other paper. The brush I use is one 
of the softest kind of common painting brushes, 
about as thick as my finger, the hairs are tied up 
very tight to within an eighth of an inch of the 
end, & the end is then cut or ground quite flat; 
a more elastic brush will not produce so perfect 
an outline. The black I use is the smoke of a 
candle, received on a metal plate, mixed with 
glue size and used almost dry, for if there is 
moisture enough to pucker the paper much, the 
outline will be ragged. I give you a few speci- 
mens in this letter. I often cut these out to put 
them on black glass." He enclosed with his letter 
specimens made by what we should call a paper 
stencil, and also others made by a different kind 
of stencil. He says that some were "etched 



70 WAX PORTRAITS 

through very thin brass ; if the brass is not as thin 
as paper the aqua fortis will close the mouth too 
much." He gives seven copies of one exceedingly 
small silhouette, not more than seven-sixteenths 
of an inch in height, which he etched from thin 
silver. The stencil is such a commonplace with 
us in these modern days that it seems strange 
that it should be necessary to explain at length 
such a simple method. 

Many of the older cutters advertised their work 
as the basis of illustration for books, and many 
examples were used as such. Paul Konewka, a 
German, in his short life of thirty years made 
illustrative silhouettes for Shakespeare's plays. 
They were wonderfully characteristic and those 
for the Midsummer Night's Dream have become 
famous. He died in 1871, but the fashion he set 
has still persisted in his native land, for there is 
seldom a life of Schiller or Goethe published 
now which is not illustrated by silhouettes. In 
our own country Howard Pyle used the silhou- 
ette very effectively, and just now every art 




UNKNOWN MAN 
Augmte Edouart 

OWNED BY DWIGHT M. PROUTY, ESQ., BOSTON 



AND SILHOUETTES 71 

journal contains illustrative specimens by men 
and women who are again using this kind of 
illustration. Brown's silhouette of Chief Justice 
Marshall was of great assistance to Story in mod- 
elling his statue for the Capitol at Washington ; 
and now the reference library of the National 
Portrait Gallery in London is collecting silhou- 
ettes as a means to identify unknown portraits. 
Many silhouettes of famous men are hung in the 
galleries abroad for their great value as likenesses. 
So the value of the silhouette is coming to be 
more and more recognized. 

And thus the golden days of wax portraits and 
silhouettes passed away ; for years few made them, 
and only those who cared for heirlooms treasured 
them. Yet as we study them their charm grows, 
and we wonder what our generation can produce 
which will surpass the fascination of these quaint 
portraits. No photographic art, however high, 
can supplant the genius of the true craftsman in 
the interpretation of personality. 



72 WAX PORTRAITS 



A RECORD OF WAX PORTRAITS 

Wax portraits are comparatively so few in number 
that a first attempt at a register of them seems feasible, 
and it is well to preserve a brief description of such as 
remain untouched by time. They are all profiles ex- 
cept where otherwise noted. 

DR. JAN EECKHOUT 

Abraham Chovet, of Philadelphia, 1704-1790. 

Colored wax, faces left; in alto-relievo, 4$ inches high; on 
oval slate base, 5J x 4I inches. There is a reproduction of it in 
Norris's History of Medicine in Philadelphia, p. 91, which shows 
two hands holding a book; background, to right, seven shelves filled 
with books; to left, a window with a curtain in three festoons above 
and below a table upon which is a skull. In 1896 it fell from its 
hanging and was badly fractured, so that what remains are the 
figure, sans chin and right hand, the window and two folds of the 
curtain and the two lowest shelves showing three books on each 
shelf. Upon the back of the slate base is this incised inscription: 
"Doctor M/halbraham/Chovet born/ in the year 1704/ the 25 May/ 
Drawn in the year 1784/ on the 25 int of May by/his Servant Dr/jan 
Eeckhout/." This important inscription has been incorrectly given 
in the book cited and by several others who have followed his 
authority without verification by the original. 

Eminent physician of Philadelphia. Arrived there in 1770, 
from Jamaica, whither he had gone from his birthplace, England, and 
in 1774 delivered the first public lectures on Anatomy and Physiology 
given in this country, illustrated by wax figures that he made himself. 

Mr. Hart says nothing is known of "Dr. jan Eeckhout" beyond 
his name on this wax of Dr. Chovet, the orthography of which indi- 
cates that he was a Hollander. But the work shows that he was an 
accomplished modeller, with a fine artistic sense and no tyro at doing 
portrait work. It is one of the most elaborate waxes known, full of 
keen expression which the reproduction mentioned does not give, the 
muscles of the face being minutely and accurately delineated, while 
the remaining hand exhibits a knowledge of artistic anatomy of no 
mean quality. 

Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia. 




BISHOP WILLIAM WHITE, OF PHILADELPHIA 
William Henry Broivn 

GIVEN BY MRS. WILLIAM H. WHITRIDGE, BALTIMORE, 
TO THE MASSACHUSETTS SOCIETY OF THE COLONIAL DAMES OF AMERICA 



AND SILHOUETTES 73 



ROBERT BALL HUGHES 
President William Henry Harrison, 1773-1841. 

White wax, faces left, low relief; robe with a fur collar over 
the shoulders. Was part of the gallery of portraits of the old 
Boston Museum. 

Boston Museum of Fine Arts; 

Gift of Miss Helen F. Kimball. 

Chief Justice John Marshall, 1755-1835. 

White wax, full length; knee breeches and old-fashioned long 
coat; the hair in a queue; one on a terra cotta background, the one 
in New York unmounted. The story is that there were six copies of 
this wax ; one has been lost, and one destroyed. 

Mrs. Charles Marshall, Baltimore. 

Mr. Douglas H. Thomas, Baltimore. 

Association of the Bar, New York ; unmounted. 

Mary Jane (Miller) Quincy, of Boston, 1806-1874. 

White wax, faces left; hair dressed high behind in a braid, 
two curls before the ear. Dress cut low with a button on the 
shoulder ; mounted on red velvet. She was the wife of Josiah Quincy, 
mayor of Boston. 

Mrs. Mary Quincy Thorndike, Boston. 

Elizabeth (Rotch) Rodman, 1757-1856. 

White wax, faces left; cap, ruffle in front, band, and gathered 
back; high collar with two ruffles; shawl; on red velvet in a red 
leather case. 

Mrs. Dudley L. Pickman, Boston. 

Miss Emma Rodman, Nahant. 

Mrs. George Hussey, New Bedford. 

Samuel Rodman, of New Bedford, 1753-1835. 

White wax, faces right ; curly hair ; smooth face. 
Mrs. A. Lawrence Rotch, Boston. 
Miss Emma Rodman, Nahant. 
Mrs. George Hussey, New Bedford. 

Andrew Robeson, of New Bedford, Mass., d. 1862. 

White wax, faces left; rather long hair turned up in a curl, 
parted very much on the side; side whiskers; bare neck; mounted 
on red velvet. 

Mrs. Andrew Robeson, Brookline, Mass. 



74 WAX PORTRAITS 

Anna (Rodman) Robeson, 1787-1848. 

White wax, faces right; hair parted and drawn over ears; 
a double ruffled cap, turned back in front, tied in a knot over the 
ears and hanging in folds. Folds around the neck. Wife of the above. 
Mrs. Andrew Robeson, Brookline, Mass. 

William Rotch, Sr., of Nantucket, 1 734-1 828. 

White wax, faces left; top of head bald; hair long and 
straight; nose arched. Called "the king of Nantucket." A Quaker, 
wore his hat when received by Louis XVI. 

Mrs. A. Lawrence Rotch, Boston. 
Miss Julia Rodman, New Bedford. 

William Rotch, Jr., of New Bedford, 1759-1850. 

White wax, faces left ; hair long, and follows curve of neck ; 
thin locks over forehead; nose arched and prominent; eyebrows 
heavy ; double chin. 

Mrs. A. Lawrence Rotch, Boston. 
(2 copies, one somewhat yellow.) 




JOHN RANDOLPH, OF ROANOKE 
William Henry Broivn 



AND SILHOUETTES 75 



GEORGE M. MILLER 

Albert Gallatin, 1761-1849. 

Exhibited at Philadelphia in 1813. 

Talbot Hamilton. 

Exhibited at Philadelphia in 1821. 

Adam Kuhn, of Philadelphia, 1741-1817. 

White wax, faces right; z\ inches high; eyes closed and from 
expression evidently taken after death. 

Eminent physician in Philadelphia and President of the Col- 
lege of Physicians and Surgeons at the time of his death. 

College of Physicians and Surgeons, Philadelphia. 

Mrs. James Madison, 1767-1849. 

Exhibited at Philadelphia in 1813. 

Robert Oliver, of Baltimore, 1759-1834. 

Colored wax; forehead high, with hair rolled back and tied 
at the back of the neck with a black bow ; the coat has a high turned- 
back collar, white waistcoat with long rolling collar, a high white 
linen collar and stock. His features are handsome, clean shaven, 
and well executed. Framed in black and gold. On the back is 
written 

"George Miller, Artist 

No. 172 North Street 

Baltimore, Md. 
January 26th, 18 10." 
Robert Oliver was born at "Troopersfield," near Lisburn, County 
Antrim, Ireland. He came to Baltimore in 1783, and became an 
exceedingly prosperous merchant. 

Miss Fowler, Baltimore, Md. 

Bishop William White, 1747-1836. 

Exhibited at Philadelphia in 1814. 

John Wilcox, 1 789-1 826. 

Colored wax, faces right; 2% inches high; black coat, white 
vest and neckcloth; brown hair. 

Col. Joseph Wilcox, Philadelphia, Pa. 



76 WAX PORTRAITS 

William Wilson. 

Colored wax; 3 inches high; mounted on glass. Signed 
"G. M. Miller, 1815." 

Joseph Lapsley Wilson, Esq., Overbrook, Pa. 

William Wilson. 

Colored wax; 3 inches high; mounted on plate. Signed 
"G. M. Miller, sculp. 1819." 

Joseph L. Wilson, Esq., Overbrook, Pa. 

Mrs. Margaret Wilson. 

Colored wax; 3 inches high. "Wonderful in color and detail, 
but somewhat broken." 

Joseph L. Wilson, Esq., Overbrook, Pa. 

Unknown Man. 

Colored wax, faces right; i\ inches high; blue coat and white 
neckerchief; white hair. On the slate is written: "J. Wephous 
Curiger fecit natu 1813." Does this mean a portrait of Curiger 
made from life in 1813? 

Bloomfield Moore Collection, Memorial Hall, 
Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. 



AND SILHOUETTES 77 

JOHN CHRISTIAN RAUSCHNER 

Rev. Thomas Barnard, of Salem, 1748-1814. 

Colored wax, faces right; gown and bands; black hair turned 
up with a curl ; pinkish yellow flesh, gray eyes. Minister of the 
North Church, Salem, 1773-1814. 
Three copies: 

Essex Institute somewhat broken; 

North Church perfect. 

Dr. John Orne Green, Boston. 

William Biglow, 1773-1844, of Salem, Boston, and Natick. 

Colored wax, faces left; black coat and white stock; brown 
hair and pink flesh. Done in 1810. He was a preacher, poet and 
schoolmaster. Bacon's Natick has a silhouette of him. 
Essex Institute, Salem. 

Benjamin Bussey, 3D, 1781-1808. 

Colored wax, faces left; black coat; white waistcoat, frilled 
shirt front, collar, and neck-cloth; blue eyes; hair brown, brushed 
forward, and tied in a short queue. 

Lawrence Park, Esq., Groton, Mass. 

Elizabeth Brown Conover, 18 10. 

Colored wax, faces right; 4$ inches high, showing right arm 
and left hand over it, with large jewelled ring on forefinger; dark 
hair and eyes; in lace cap tied at top with bow of natural ribbon; 
black gown with long sleeves and white lace bertha with three tiers 
of ruffles. The portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Conover are owned by their 
great-great-great-granddaughter. They were of Dutch extraction 
and the Holland name was Couwenhoven. 

Mrs. S. Megargee Wright, Philadelphia. 

Joseph Conover, 18 10. 

Colored wax, faces left; 3$ inches high; black coat with four 
large brass buttons; high black vest and standing white collar, and 
white neckcloth; hair and eyes light brown. 

Mrs. S. Megargee Wright, Philadelphia. 

Benjamin Daland, of Salem, 1807-1841. 

Colored wax, faces right. About twenty-five to thirty years old. 
Essex Institute, Salem, Mass. 



78 



WAX PORTRAITS 



Thomas Dawes, 1783-1828. 

Colored wax, faces left ; white stock. 

Mrs. Arthur O. Fuller, Cambridge. 

Lucy (Lord) (Staniford) Dutch, of Salem, 1765-1846. 

Colored wax, faces left; white muslin dress, cap of real lace 
and guimpe of lace; hands crossed. 

Mrs. Frances Gilman, Portland, Me. 
Mould for this portrait owned by 

Thomas Todd, Esq., Concord, Mass. 
Warren Safford, Esq., Hudson, Mass. 

Rev. Asa Eaton, of Boston, 177 8-1 8 5 6. 

Colored wax, faces left; black hair; surplice, black stole and 
high stock; mounted on red velvet. 

Christ Church, Salem Street, Boston. 

Ebenezer Eaton, of Boston, 1767-1829. 

Colored wax, faces left; black coat, white waistcoat, frill, 
and stock; hair brushed forward, queue tied with a bow. He built 
"Eaton's folly," a great brick dwelling on Eaton Street, Boston. 
A. P. Baker, Esq., Boston. 

Joseph Eaton, of Boston, 1774-1809. 

Colored wax, faces left; black coat, white stock, waistcoat and 
tie; brown hair, brushed toward the front, slight side whiskers; 
rather pale complexion; high eyebrows; a very handsome young 
man. 

Miss Lucy Eaton, Boston. 

Mary (Allen) Eaton, of Boston, 1777-1818. 

Colored wax, faces right; white dress with lace frill around 
the neck; turban; hair brushed forward in an irregular bang; 
pearl ring on forefinger, and a pink rose in the hand ; long earrings. 
She sits in a black Chippendale chair, with mother of pearl orna- 
ments. She has great dignity of pose. 

A. P. Baker, Esq., Boston. 

David Forst, of Philadelphia. 

Colored wax, faces left; brown hair and queue; front hair 
brushed forward and curled back; black coat, white stock and 
waistcoat; brown eyes, long face, hook nose, long chin and straight 




REV. DR. JOHN PRINCE, OF SALEM 
William Henry Brown 

OWNED BY MISS CLARA ENDICOTT SEARS, BOSTON 



AND SILHOUETTES 79 

mouth; distinct wrinkles at the corners of the mouth. Originally 
mounted on sage green silk. 

Henry Pinner Curtis, Newton, Mass. 

Richea (Luria) Forst, of Philadelphia. 

Colored wax, faces right; black hair, brushed back, and done 
in a psyche knot; a tortoise-shell comb holds back a curl that falls 
before the ear; brown dress, with puffed sleeves and shirred waist; 
brown girdle; white lace, now brown, tucker, formerly held by a 
brooch at the neck; gold hoop earrings; sallow complexion, long 
face, black eyes, and very red lips. Originally mounted on sage 
green silk. Her mother was Araguina Luria. 

Henry Pinner Curtis, Newton, Mass. 

Colonel Daniel Lewis Gibbens, of Boston, 1786-1853. 

Colored wax, faces left; black dress coat, white stock, lace 
frill missing; reddish brown hair, cut short, short side whiskers; 
fair complexion, blue eyes. 

Joseph McKean Gibbons, Jamaica Plain. 

Mary (King) Gibbens, 1789-1817. 

Colored wax, faces right; dotted muslin dress, with wax lace 
around the sleeve and a double rufHe around the square-cut neck. 
Brown hair dressed high with a comb of shell and seed pearls; curls 
in the neck and on the forehead ; hoop earrings, blue eyes, and a ring 
with pearls all around on the left forefinger. Beautiful flesh tints. 

Mrs. Mary King Lee- Warner, London, formerly 
owned by Mrs. Annie Frobisher Wildman, 
Newton, Mass. 

Catherine (Comerford) (Hillier) Graupner, i769?-i82i. 

Colored wax, faces left; plain white dress with wax lace at 
neck and sleeves. Brown hair, dressed in curls with two gold combs, 
one bordered with seed pearls. Hands clasped with large ring on 
right forefinger. Earrings in daisy pattern of seed pearls and gold. 
A most stiff and haughty dame. She was born in London, England, 
and became an opera singer of note as Mrs. Heelyer. She married 
her second husband, Mr. Graupner, in Charleston, S. C. 

Boston Museum of Fine Arts; 

Gift of Miss Louise C. D. Stoddard. 

Johann Christian Gottlieb Graupner, of Boston, 1767-1836. 

Colored wax, faces right; black coat, with metal buttons, 
white stock, tie and inner vest yellow; pink complexion, gray hair 



80 WAX PORTRAITS 



brushed forward and tied in a queue. He was a player of the oboe, 
but could perform on any instrument. He was one of the founders 
of the Handel and Haydn Society. 

Boston Museum of Fine Arts; 

Gift of Miss Louise C. D. Stoddard. 

Oliver Holden, of Charlestown, Mass., 1765-1844. 

Colored wax, faces left; black coat, white stock; gray-black 
hair. 

Frank J. Lawton, Esq., Shirley, Mass. 

Hannah Paschall Hollings worth, of Philadelphia, 1744-. 

Colored wax; gray dress, thin white shawl; very thin cap of 
white muslin showing her hair and ear, tied under the chin and at 
the back with a little bow; hair brown, clear complexion. 

Miss Catharine W. Morris, Harriton, Bryn 
Mawr, Pa. 

Levi Hollingsworth, of Philadelphia, 1739-1824. 

Colored wax; gray coat, and vest a shade darker; red cravat 
with white dots, white stock; iron gray hair, worn long, head slightly 
bald; complexion fair, clean shaven, heavy eyebrows; clear-cut face 
with much character. Born in Cecil Co., Maryland. Both the Hol- 
lingsworth waxes have upon the back, written in ink, 
"Rauschner fee. 

Chatham Street 
No. 41 
New York" 

Miss Catharine W. Morris, Harriton, Bryn 
Mawr, Pa. 

Leonard Kip, of Kips Bay, New York, 1768-1843. 

Colored wax, faces right; black coat, white stock; black hair. 
Leonard Kip Storrs, D.D., Brookline, Mass. 

Governor John Lambert, of Amwell, New Jersey, 1746-1823. 

Colored wax, faces right; high forehead, heavy eyebrows, 
nose somewhat turned up, a strong mouth and chin. Black coat, 
white stock and tie. Two copies, one of which was presented to 
Governor Bloomfield. 

Jerusha Lambert Shoemaker. 

Thomas Seabrook, Passaic, N. J. 



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AND SILHOUETTES 8l 



Daniel Lang, of Salem, 1784-1826. 

Colored wax, faces left; black coat, white stock; black hair; 
resembles his father. 

Essex Institute, Salem. 

Dolly (Wood) Lang, of Salem, 1784-1867. 

Colored wax, faces right; white dotted muslin dress, with 
guimpe of white lace put on; earrings, jewelled comb in her brown 
hair, and curl in front of her ear; blue flower on breast; flesh very 
white. 

Essex Institute, Salem. 

Hannah Lang, of Salem, 1782-1845. 

Colored wax, faces left; white dotted muslin dress, gathered 
guimpe; black hair, with curls on forehead, and comb; hoop ear- 
rings ; looks like her father. 

Essex Institute, Salem. 

Nathaniel Lang, of Salem, 1757-1824. 

One of a group of five comprising himself, his wife and three 
children. Done in 1810. 

Colored wax, faces left; black coat, brown waistcoat, and 
white stock ; queue of black hair, pink flesh, and high hooked nose. 
Essex Institute, Salem. 

Nathaniel Lang, Jr., of Salem, 1780-1851. 

Colored wax, faces left; brown coat; brown hair, pink flesh; 
rather stout, looks like his mother. 

Essex Institute, Salem. 

Governor Levi Lincoln, 1 749-1 820. 

Colored wax, faces left; black coat, high collar, white stock, 
ruffled shirt; bald on the forehead and on top of his head, grayish 
hair and blue eyes. 

Waldo Lincoln, Esq., Worcester, Mass. 

James Smith Lovell, of Boston, 1762-1826. 

Colored wax, faces left; coat yellow gray; high white stock 
and collar, white waistcoat and ruffled shirt; short powdered hair; 
gray eyes. Two copies. 

Miss Emma Lovell Loring, Brookline, Mass. 

Mansfield Lovell, Esq., San Francisco, Cal. 



82 WAX PORTRAITS 

Richard Lush, of Manlius, New York. 

Colored wax, faces left; brown coat, white stock and long 
white tie; snub nose, bald head, and hair hanging over coat. In 
small round black frame. 

Mrs. Henry Ware, Brookline, Mass. 

Colonel Benjamin Pickman, of Salem. 

Colored wax, faces left; brown hair touched with gray, queue; 
frill of lace in front, stock, black coat retouched ; beautifully done. 
Essex Institute, Salem. 

John Pierce, of Dorchester, Mass. 

Colored wax, faces left; dark clothes in high relief; poor 
condition, remounted on paper. 

Miss Mary Patterson, Boston. 

Nancy (Bates) Pierce, of Boston. 

Colored wax, faces right; dotted muslin dress; rose in hand; 
rings; front and back comb with seed pearls; brown hair in a ban- 
deau; brown eyes. 

Miss Mary Patterson, Boston. 

Judge Joseph Read, of Burlington and Mount Holly, N. J. 

Colored wax, faces left; black coat, with buttonholes showing; 
white frill and stock; a large man, with slightly hooked nose, promi- 
nent chin, and full over the eyes; straight reddish gray hair, slightly 
long behind. There is a family tradition that they were done by 
Miss Julia Latrobe of Baltimore, but are in the manner of Rauschner. 
Mounted on black velvet. 

Rev. W. G. Read, Brighton, Mass. 

General Samuel Joseph Read, of Mount Holly, N. J. 

Colored wax, faces left; black coat with h'gh collar; white 
waistcoat, white stock ; sandy gray hair tied with black ; curls back 
of the ear, and short side whiskers; complexion dark; full over the 
eyes; well-shaped nose; mounted on black glass. Also attributed to 
Miss Latrobe, but more like Rauschner than that of Judge Read. 
Rev. W. G. Read, Brighton, Mass. 

Aaron Storck, of Holland. 

Colored wax, faces left; 3$ inches high; black coat, white 
standing collar and large white neckerchief; yellowish white hair, 
and dark eyes. Mr. and Mrs. Storck were the parents of Mr. Hart's 



AND SILHOUETTES 83 

paternal grandmother; they visited this country in 1810, and re- 
turned to Holland the following year. 

Charles Henry Hart, Esq., Philadelphia. 

Jeannette Storck, of Holland. 

Colored wax, faces right; 4$ inches high; showing right arm, 
and left hand over it, with large jewelled ring on forefinger; dark 
hair and eyes; lace cap trimmed with real silk ribbon, tied in a bow 
at the top and another at the bottom behind the head ; white dotted 
gown, low neck and short sleeves, with thin white neckerchief; gold 
necklace and pearl earrings. 

Charles Henry Hart, Esq., Philadelphia. 

Governor Caleb Strong, 1745-1819. 

Colored wax, faces left; black coat, white stock; gray hair; 
mounted on black felt, unframed; has been exposed to the air and 
has shrunk and yellowed. 

Dennison R. Slade, Esq., Chestnut Hill, Mass. 

Governor James Sullivan, 1744-1808. 

Colored wax, faces left; black coat, white tie and cravat, 
hair and wig white. 

American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass. 

State House, Boston. 

Mrs. John Langdon Sullivan, Boston. 

Mrs. Alexander Cochrane, Boston. 

Ingersoll Amory, Esq., Boston. 

Miss E. M. Flagg, Roxbury, Mass. 

Elizabeth (Hubbard) Sumner, 1770-1839. 

Colored wax, faces left; cap, very transparent so that the hair 
shows through, with insertion across front and a ruffle all around; 
short-waisted black gown, with white girdle and white kerchief 
clasped with an oval brooch of eight seed pearls. Her clasped arms 
do not show as in most of Rauschner's portraits of ladies. 

Mrs. Walter G. Horton, Brookline, Mass. 

Thomas Waldron Sumner, 1768-1849. 

Colored wax, faces left; brown hair, brushed to the front 
with a bang, and short queue behind; black coat, white stock, neck- 
cloth, and waistcoat. 

Mrs. Walter G. Horton, Brookline, Mass. 



84 WAX PORTRAITS 

Henry Tolman, of Boston, 1781-. 

Colored wax, faces left; black coat, tall white collar and 
cravat; red hair. The portraits were made in 1805. 

Henry Tolman, Esq., Newton, Mass. 

Lydia (Park) Tolman, of Boston, 1787-. 

Colored wax; faces right; white dotted muslin dress, high 
waist, puffed and long sleeves; hands crossed in her lap; she is 
seated in a chair; hair done high; a frill around her neck. Originally 
she had a high comb, and gold beads around her neck. These became 
broken, and a ruff was substituted by a man who claimed to be the 
grandson of the maker. 

Henry Tolman, Esq., Newton, Mass. 

Captain Luther Trowbridge, of Albany, 1756-1845. 

Colored wax, faces left; hair in a queue; dark coat, with 5 
buttons; white stock and ruffle. 

Rev. Ephraim Ward, of West Brookfield, 1741-1818. 

Colored wax, faces right; rather bald, with white hair in a 
roll behind; ministerial robe, high stock and bands; a long face and 
strong chin. 

Clayton C. Hall, Esq., Baltimore. 

Mary (Coleman) Ward, of West Brookfield, 1744-1809. 

Colored wax, faces left; a cap bordered with fine lace, and 
a flower on top; turned over lace collar, white guimpe, and a satin 
gown with slashed sleeves; a ring on her finger, and a pin at the side 
of her cap; fine, strong features. 

Clayton C. Hall, Esq., Baltimore. 

William Henry Whiting, of Hartford, Conn. 

Colored wax, faces left; dark brown hair and "burnsides"; 
eyes dark brown; broad, rather low, forehead, high cheek bones, 
small mouth, rounded chin; nose repaired by Miss Mundy; black 
coat, white stock and frill. New background. 

Mrs. I. W. Metcalf, Oberlin, O. 

Eunice (Farley) Whitney, of Beverly, Mass., 1757-1809. 

Colored wax, faces left; black widow's dress, black fringe 
over arm, long sleeves; high white neckerchief; widow's cap, the 



AND SILHOUETTES 85 

back of wax, with a white tarleton ruffle, knife-plaited, tied with a 
black ribbon in a bow behind ; the hands do not show. 

Miss Augusta Lamb, Brookline, Mass. 

Captain Nathan Winship, of Boston. 

Colored wax, faces left; black coat, high white stock, white 
tie and frill; brunette complexion; very finely done. 
Dwight M. Prouty, Esq., Boston. 

Mildred (Gilmer) Wirt, of Virginia, d. 1839. 

Colored wax, faces left; white lace guimpe, low black gown, 
showing neck and arms; hair dark, arranged high upon her head; 
eyes dark. 

Mrs. William H. Whitridge, Baltimore, Md. 

William Wirt, of Bladensburg, Md., 1772-18 34. 

Colored wax, faces right; blue coat, white stock; dark hair 
and eyes. 

Mrs. William H. Whitridge, Baltimore, Md. 

Unknown Man. 

Colored wax, faces right; very high relief; black coat, white 
shirt and vest; face has pasty complexion and is very flat, with fat 
cheeks and high cheek bones. 

Dwight M. Prouty, Esq., Boston. 



RACHEL WELLS 

Rev. George Whitefield, 1714-1770. 

Mrs. Wells, a sister of Mrs. Patience Wright, is said to have 
made a portrait in wax, given to Bethesda College. (Lee's Diet. 
Nat. Biog. lxi. p. 92.) See also Colon. Soc. of Mass. Dec. 1906, p. 30. 



86 WAX PORTRAITS 



JOSEPH WRIGHT 

George Washington, 1732-1799. 

White wax, faces right; hair drawn back, and tied with a bow 
behind; laurel wreath; 5x6 inches. Signed "J. Wright, fecit." 
Made in 1784. A copy of this profile, life-size, reversed, in plaster 
of Paris, hung in Washington's library at Mount Vernon, and now 
belongs to General Custis Lee. Washington further showed his 
esteem for Wright by appointing him the first engraver and die- 
sinker in the mint, which position he held at the time of his death. 
Reproduced in Mr. Hart's "Life Portraits of George Washington," 
McClure's Magazine, February, 1897, p. 295. 

Benjamin R. Smith, Philadelphia, Pa. 



PATIENCE WRIGHT 

William Augustus Atlee, of Philadelphia, 1735-1793. 

Full bust to right; ii inches high; curled hair; reproduced in 
Barber's History of the Atlee Family, 1884, at which time it was 
owned by Dr. John Light Atlee, of Lancaster, Pa. Associate Justice 
of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania from 1777 to 1791. As Judge 
Atlee married a New Jersey woman at Elizabethtown in 1763, his 
profile doubtless is the work of Patience Wright. 
Walter Atlee, Washington. 

Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790. 

Black wax, faces left; long hair. Reproduced by Wedgwood. 
Charles S. Bradford, Esq., Philadelphia, Pa. 

George Washington, 1732-1799. 

White wax, faces right; in uniform. 

Dr. Richard H. Harte, Philadelphia, Pa. 
Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Broken. 

Rev. George Whitefield, 1714-1770. 

A wax portrait. (Lee's Diet. Nat. Biog. lxi. p. 92.) Mr. 
Albert Matthews brought this portrait to my attention. 



AND SILHOUETTES 87 



UNKNOWN ARTISTS 

Queen Anne of England, 1665-1714. 
Moulded white wax, facing left. 

Mr. and Mrs. Whitridge, Baltimore, Md. 

Bishop John Carroll, 1735-1817. 

Three by five inches. Brownish in tone, faces left; dressed 
in robes, with insignia of office around his neck. He was the first 
Roman Catholic Bishop of Maryland, and was made Archbishop 
in 1815. 

Maryland Historical Society. 

Princess Charlotte, Daughter of George IV, 1796-1817. 
Moulded pink wax, facing right. 

Mr. and Mrs. Whitridge, Baltimore, Md. 

Captain Charles Edward Coffin, of'Nantucket, 1814-1883. 
Wax profile made in Bordeaux, France, 1850-1855. 
Mrs. John Morrisey, Jr., Baltimore. 

Charles James Fox, Sr., 1749-1806. 

Moulded white wax, facing left. 

Mr. and Mrs. Whitridge, Baltimore, Md. 

Mrs. Margaret (Caldwell) McHenry, 1761-1833. 

Colored wax, faces left; white cap, tied around the head and 
under the chin; white kerchief; black silk dress; seated in a red 
armchair; eyes and hair dark; complexion florid; four and one-half 
inches high. 

Mrs. R. Brent Keyser, Baltimore, Md. 

Captain Samuel Swett, of Newburyport, married 1799. 

Portrait made in Antwerp. 

Colored wax; smooth face, with short side whiskers, and dark 
hair; black coat, white waistcoat, high white stock. On a warm gray 
background. 

Mrs. Robert L. Harris, Portsmouth, N. H. 



WAX PORTRAITS 



Unknown Man, Stuart Period. 

Colored wax, faces right; black cloak, white ruff, black hat 
turned up at the side with a brooch of seed pearls, and plumes. 
Black hair, mustache and beard, black eyes; skin very pink with no 
shadings. Mounted on black glass, very low relief; about two inches 
high. 

Boston Museum of Fine Arts ; 

Lent by Mrs. T. O. Richardson. 

Unknown Woman, Stuart Period. 

Evidently the wife of the man above. Colored wax, faces 
front; brown dress with a garniture around the neck of three rows 
of seed pearls, and two rows of double pearls as a pendant. The 
sleeves are puffed. Within the row of pearls is some beautifully 
modelled lace. Brown hair brushed pompadour, and a high fan ruff 
behind the head, made of wax lace. A necklace of seed pearls with 
a cross-like pendant. Earrings. Flesh pink as above. 

Boston Museum of Fine Arts; 

Lent by Mrs. T. O. Richardson. 

Unknown. 

Pink wax, faces left. 

Maryland Historical Society. 



NOTES 

Page 43 Williams 

Mr. Horace W. Sellers writes that this was probably Moses 
Williams, the Negro servant of his great-grandfather, C. W. Peale, 
who cut with John Hawkins's invention, "the physiognotrace," 
8,880 profiles in one year (1802), using a half sheet of paper folded 
to make four profiles at once. The inner parts he called his "block- 
heads," and these he kept. He was born about 1775. 

Jonathan Allen, 1773-1845. 

Colored wax, faces left; black coat, white stock and shirt 
front; black short hair, brown eyes. 

Jane C. Crawford, Davenport, Iowa. 



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