Exceptional Antique Silhouette of Pregnant Woman
  • If you follow my website, I’m sure you know that I love the incredibly detailed embellishment by the Royal Victoria Gallery and the Frith brothers. The stunning, portrait-like quality of the embellishment of this lady is the reason why I love these silhouettes so much. Study the details of the lady’s bonnet, including the feather that adorns it! Look at how the light reflects from the ribbons of her bonnet. The lace and gathering of fabric in the flounces on her shawl. The parasol that she holds with the same hand as her reticule. You can even see wear her square-toed shoe crosses the top of her foot. Even though this lovely young woman is covered with her shawl, I think she is likely pregnant—now that’s a rarity in silhouettes of the 19th century. Signed “Frith” and dated 1846. According to McKechnie’s analysis of signatures, this is the signature of Fredrick Frith. This exceptional profile is housed in what is likely the original cushioned, highly figured maple frame with gilt liner. Framed size 13” x 15”. I suspect this lady is related to the lady with the bonnet that I’m also listing today (#5801). They have the same Frith brother signature, are both dated 1846, are in matching frames, and Ms. Peyraud both them together.

    This is another fabulous shade from the collection of Paula Peyraud. Paula Fentress Peyraud (1947-2008) was an avid collector from a young age. She was a reference librarian at the Chappaqua Public Library and her voracious love of reading prompted her to amass an important collection of books, manuscripts, autograph letters of 18th through the 20th century. As a lover of art and people, she also put together an important collection of paintings, silhouettes, drawings and prints. Luckily, this avid collector lived in her family’s substantial house which she filled with her collections—even to the point where she added on to the house for more room to collect. The works of art she collected were of high quality, from the best collections and mostly portraits. She obviously loved characters and the idea of collecting people. Her collection of silhouettes included the best known artists as well as some folk pieces. Luckily for us, Ms. Peyraud kept wonderful records of her collection purchases. All of Ms. Peyraud’s documentation will go to the buyer of all of her silhouettes.

    #5800    Sold

    Provenance: Paula Peyraud Collection; Christie’s New York, December 10, 1983, lot 310.

    Please see the Silhouettist Bios page for more information about Royal Victoria Gallery & the Frith brothers.