The dogs that I will be listing over the next year or two offer you a important opportunity to own silhouettes out of a folio that Mrs. Jackson referred to as an album of “Edouart’s genre pictures”. This genre album has long been off the market but recently surfaced and I have been lucky enough to purchase a number of figures removed from it. The album appears to have been Edouart’s personal book where he practiced figures and poses that he felt compelled to cut for his own edification. The figures from this album are of varying sizes, unlike the strict “military standard” which he used from 1827 with figures 7 ½” to 8” or less, depending on the height of his sitter. Mrs. Jackson noted that Edouart used this “military standard” from 1827 until the end of his career “except with his miniature work.” The miniature work to which she referred was saved exclusively by Edouart in this album or used for the exhibition he discusses in his own Treatise.
This pup appears to be a Bully breed. I don’t know which one as breeds have evolved so much in the last 150 + years. It might be a pit bull variation, a Bull Mastiff, Boxer, or something similar. But as you can see by the wide, flat skull and the short muzzle, this proud dog is Bully! The detail is, of course wonderful. The ears held slightly back while the dog trucks on down the street, collar and tag clearly defined. The definition of the legs and feet. The face shows a well-defined stop, nose and bottom jaw that is a bit undercut. This boy is proud and beautiful. In this recently emerged album, Edouart was honing the skills that make his silhouettes so desirable. And here we offer you an opportunity to own one of the dogs from his own personal album…..made only for himself and hidden in a collection for decades! What a find! This Bully boy is 2 ¾” tall. I’ve included a scan of the reverse where you can see that Edouart amused himself with some doodling. You can view another of his sketched backs in the Laughons’ A Quaker Album at 5. Amazingly, from the reverse you can see that Edouart must have not been too happy with the position if one of the hind legs so he replaced it with an overlay. As you can see from the scan of the silhouette’s reverse, this piece of paper bears a partial watermark which is not entirely legible to me. It almost appears as if the mark was double stamped. If anyone knows what paper manufacturer produced this watermark, I would be thrilled if you would share that information with me. From the front, you can see the tiniest glue stain where the leg was inserted but you really can’t see that the paper is anything other than part of the original cutting—Edouart managed to blacken the paper so that the splicing is virtually invisible. Bully Boy is framed in a period bird’s-eye maple frame with a canted profile behind early glass. I’ve gently mounted the pup with a tiny hinge of Japanese rice tape to a cream-colored acid-free paper which is laid to an acid-free ragboard. On the back of the ragboard we are putting a stamp to authenticate all of these silhouettes as from The Archive Scrapbook of Augustin Edouart. If you want further provenance, I’m happy to add my own collection stamp at your request. These silhouettes will be so desirable in the future and you will be happy to have this authentication. Framed size 7” x 6 ¾”. Circa 1826-1845.
Edouart, Augustin, A Treatise on Silhouette Likenesses, Longman & Co., Paternoster-Row; and J. Bolster, Patrick-Street, Cork, 1835.
Jackson, Mrs. E. Nevill, Silhouettes A History and Dictionary of Artists, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1981 (published as an unabridged republication of Jackson’s Silhouette: Notes and Dictionary, Methuen & Co. Ltd, 1938), at 98-99.
Laughon, Helen & Nel, August Edouart A Quaker Album: American and English Duplicate Silhouettes 1827-1845, Cheswick Press, Richmond, VA 1987 at 5.
Please see the Silhouettist Bios page for more information about Edouart.