Antique American-Cut Conversation Silhouette of Two Young Boys by Auguste Edouart
  • Really great conversation silhouette of two Philadelphia brothers by the great silhouettist, Augustin Edouart. Signed on the right side, just under the base of the table, this profile is full of movement and playfulness as the two siblings seem to have a stand-off in a parlor or best room. The silhouette is set onto a lithographic background that Edouart would have commissioned for his work. This same lithograph is published in Mrs. Jackson’s book as an example of one of the lithographs that Edouart had printed by Unkles & Klason, Cork. Big Brother holds his hoop in his left hand while holding the stick just high enough to indicate that he’s not going to let Little Brother play. Little Brother holds a riding crop in his right hand while his left hand points to Big Brother as if to say “You better give that to me or I’ll…….”. Looks like normal sibling rivalry to me! .

    The lithograph depicts a patterned carpet, covered table and half-dark drape, half-light drape set before a large window that looks out to a waterway with boats. The background has overall toning with some staining especially close to the edges. The largest stain can be seen in the photos in the light drape to the viewer’s right. It is not as noticeable in person as it is in the photo. While you are looking for the stain, look at that great bubble in the glass in the stained area. It’s a beautiful piece of early glass. The figures are in very good condition with possibly a very little bit of scuffing on the toes of both brothers’ shoes. Edouart’s signature is “Augn fecit. 1843 [or 2] / Philadelphia”. The word “Philadelphia” is partially worn away. The figures have the very light grease pencil embellishment that Edouart used after 1842. .

    The silhouette resides in a period, possibly original, bird’s eye maple frame with a canted profile that measures 7 ¾” x 10 ¾” with a sight size of 5 ¾” x 8 ¾”. The frame is richly colored with scuffing and a crackled finish. This is a great one! .

    #5765    Sale Pending

    Provenance: Saint Paul’s Church, Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania
    Reference: Jackson, Mrs. F. Nevil, Ancestors in Silhouette by August Edouart, The Bodley Head, London; John Lane Co., New York, 1921, at Plate 8.

    Please see the Silhouettist Bios page for more information about Augustin Edouart.