Friday, April 26, 2013

 
 

 PAIR Silhouettes Signed Whitcomb 1831 & Doyle Man Woman Vintage Matching Frames

Below is a description of this seller's ware. Seller wants $295. That's a lot of money for 20th century junk of very little value of any sort. Why does this clown even think they are from the 19th century? The labels on the backside clearly state what these things are: junk.

Offered for auction is this Pair of Oval Silhouettes by two different Artists ~ J. H. Whitcomb (dated 1831) and William Doyle  Circa early 1800's. These two profile silhouettes are of a man and woman & they appear to have been professionally rebacked. The oval gilt & black litho artwork inner frame is wonderfully fine & dainty. The woman profile is done by Doyle with pencil or graphite embellishments along the edges for hair and blouse ruffles. Under her shoulder it is signed "Doyle", who was an artist from Boston who died in 1828 ~ & he was famous for his early American silhouettes. The man profile is done by J. H. Whitcomb & also has what appears to be pencil or graphite embellishments in the hair & necktie area. Each frame measures approx. 5-1/2" x 4-3/4".

WOW! Someone just bought them at $295. INCREDIBLE!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

 


DAGUERREOTYPE - silhouette portrait of gentleman / man

This item recently appeared on eBay and brought $292. I guess that's an OK price for a nice dag of a circa 1800 silhouette. But this image looks like an ambro to me. If a buyer of this post is reading this, get in touch with us and tell us whether it's a dag or an ambro. Also, what does the embossment say below the bust? Below is the seller's description.

Nice daguerreotype photograph featuring a silhouette portrait of a gentleman. It measures 3-3/4 by 4-3/4 inches. CONDITION: top of case is missing, image is in good condition. This item came from a Massachusetts estate.

 
 Vintage Fantasy Silhouettes

One of our readers, Judy, writes us.

I have two silhouettes that were given to me by an antique dealer from Maryland before she died.  I'm wondering if they are of value.  They are signed Jos. Wood 1812.

I know nothing about this artist and can't find much on the internet about him.  I did find your web site and figured out that they are hollow-cut.  Can you tell me anything about them? They are of John C. Calhoun, U.S. Congress, 1812 and the other is of Mrs. J. C. Calhoun, Wash D.C. 1812. (I'll send a pic of that one in another email) Should I consider them of any value?  I'll thank you for any information you may have on these.

B. M. Jones responds.

We thank Judy for writing us. We don't know who this artist is, but he/she produced many such fantasies during the 20th century. Our blogs illustrate many examples of this artist's works. I bet this artist was quite busy, as we see dozens of famous 19th century silhouette/portrait artists' names signed by this same person. Most of the sitters illustrated by this artist are of famous early Americans, many being politicians. They are worth whatever they bring as decorative items ; they are not period antiques. Personally, I think they are worth $10-25 as vintage artwork.

There are many auctions houses and even specialists who sell this artist's works as genuine 19th century examples. Do they know better and are they trying to take advantage of buyers' stupidity? Or do those sellers lack the basic knowledge of antique silhouettes? What do readers think? Some of these fantasies have been sold to "uninformed" (I am being very kind here with this term, as I would not want to offend those dumb asses by calling them what they are) buyers for four figures. Describing these fantasies as 19th century originals is a lie and a crime.


 
 $75 Silhouette

Someone bought this silhouette for $75 on eBay. If I were attributing this unsigned piece, I would attribute it to Banton (read my old posts on Banton somewhere on the blog for his bustlines). This silhouette has that "wow" look, but it has some nasty stains. In addition, the silhouette paper has been sandwitched between another paper and then papertaped. If the buyer of this piece would work slowly, I am sure the papertape can be easily removed without damaging the paper. This silhouette once resided in a rectangular frame with reverse blackened glass mat of oval opening. Should this silhouette be placed in a period frame for an additional cost of $200 or so? If one could afford it, why not. One may also wanna check out the availability of frames at dollar stores. Pick a nice wooden frame, or wood-like frame, and make a simple oval mat using thin black paper (must be thin and not thick, as thick card will float the silhouette, want the silhouette as flucsh to the glass as possible). Wella, you will have a very nice silhouette that is presentable to boot.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

 
 

 Master Hubard Silhouettes Mr. Mrs. Daniel DuPuy Jr. Philadelphia Silversmith

The seller writes that the “Frames original with age crazing to black surface. Bruise to glass edge in silhouette of Mrs. Daniel DuPuy. Chip to upper left corner of frame on Mr.Daniel Dupuy.Daniel DuPuy is hollow cut silhouette with an original small tear upper corner right of paper which shows several thread needlework stitches as original repair (rare). Backgrounds both silhouettes some age browning overall as is perfectly normal.”

The seller further writes...
I am offering an extremely rare pair of American silhouettes from my personal collection of items relating to American silversmiths (I am the author of THE SILVERSMITHS, JEWLERS, CLOCK AND WATCH MAKERS OF KENTUCKY, 1785 - 1900) and discovered these during related research for that book and have had them for approximately 35 years and have never offered them for sale before. SILHOUETTE #1 Mrs. Daniel DuPuy, Jr. Profile facing right, highly decorated with gold tracery illumination of bonnet, ruffled collar, and shoulder. Written in ink on back in early script "MRS. DANIEL DUPUY JR/ MARY MEREDITH/ CUT WITH SCISSORS/ BY/ MASTER HUBARD/ WITHOUT/ DRAWING OR MACHINE".  This same information is also written on a pasted on label which was affixed many years later. Frame measures 4 1/2" x 5 1/2". Brass hanger has acorn and two oak leaves. There is a bruise in the glass edge on right side. Overall age crazing to black compsition frame. SILHOUETTE #2 DANIEL DUPUY JR. which is written in faded ink script on the brown paper back. Also a later attached label " SILHOUETTE/ AMERICAN/ OF/ DANIEL DUPUY JR./ 1753-1826/ INHERITED DEC.7, 1898/ FROM CHARLES M. DUPUY"  Frame measures 4 3/4" x 5 3/4", is the same composition as frame of Mrs. DuPuy, brass holder has cluster of acorn and oak leaves. One would assume master Hubard may also have cut this silhouette but without that attribution on back we cannot say so with absolute certainty.

B. M. Jones says...
The seller writes further about the sitters' genealogy and Hubard's bio, which is of little interest to us, so that part is not included here. This pair of silhouettes sold for $750. WOW!!

There is no way Hubard could have done the man's silhouette. I am not even going to get into the "why" of it. If you don't know why, you have a lot of reading to do on this blog. There is no way to identify this man. If this seller is selling this silhouette as Depuy Jr., he has to at least show us a known portrait of him for comparison (if this man was an ordinary John Doe, there is no need to prove, as there would no premium attached to such silhouettes). Because this seller is asking quite a premium for this silhouette, he has to show us much more than just some inscription on the back of the frame. Anyone could have added it, at anytime, and the identification may be totally erroneous. In other words, this silhouette in this delapidated shape is worth little and should not interest any collector.

As for the woman's silhouette, I do agree it is very likely by Hubard and based on the sitter's duds and gold detailing, it would date to circa 1825. That will place this sitter at 68 years of age, if it is indeed Mary Depuy. This sitter looks to be an old woman in her 60s to me. For the sake of argument, let us say this sitter is that silversmith's wife. There were many, many American silversmiths working in the late 18th century. With this Depuy's working dates of 1772-1810, he is nothing to get excited about, especially a silversmith from Philadelphia. Possible wife of a silversmith of no note just does not strike my fancy. Fractured glass and crazed British frame subtract even more from my desire to own this silhouette. If she were Paul Revere's wife (or another silversmith of historical note), I would love to own it. But this old Mary just does not cut it for me. Sorry!




Friday, April 12, 2013

 
 Antique Silhouettes in Foster Bros Frames

Why don't many sellers do a bit of research when selling antiques? If this particular seller had searched the net, hw would have never been selling the following silhouettes as genuine period antiques. All of these are just a print in cheap 20th century frames. Each one has a starting bid of $99.99. Crazy!

 This is for a Antique Civil War Silhouette of Ede Wight from Massachusetts. Framed by Foster Bros Boston MA.  It has been totally cared for and respected all of these years. Ede Wight was born in 1805 and this is believed to have been done in 1828 when she married Ezra Wight.

This is for a Antique Civil War Silhouette of Willard Childs MA Framed by Foster Bros Boston MA. It is believed to have been done around 1826-1828.  It has been totally cared for and respected all of these years.

This is for a Antique Silhouette of Rev Gad Hitchcock born Feb. 12th, 1719.  He graduated from Harvard in 1743.  In 1774 delivered a  election speech at Old South Church in Boston, MA. Framed by Foster Bros. 4 Park Square Boston, MA.

 This is for a Antique Silhouette of Urian Oakes 1600's 4th President of Harvard University. Framed by Foster Bros. 4 Park Square Boston, MA.  Here is some information on Rev Gad Hitchcock.  Antique Silhouette of Urian Oates 4th President of Harvard University Framed by Fosters Bros. MA 4 Park Ave Boston, MA.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

 
 
 ANTIQUE WAR OF 1812 US NAVY NAVAL OFFICER PAPER CUT INK ART GOLD SILHOUETTE VA

A US Navy officer from the War of 1812 depicted finely using paper cut "cut and paste" technique accented by ink measuring approximately 3 7/8 inches behind glass in a larger frame.  Last origin was Washington, DC. 

The above is the seller's description from ebay. All he wants is $1499.99. That may be a bargain for some of you but not for me. I figure the frame is worth a buck; black glass is another buck. And I'll throw in another buck just for the heck of it. No, I would not pay a buck for that man in there. I'll throw that away and print something much better off the internet.

Does this type of seller really believe some of us are dumb enough to buy a junk like this for so much money? Yup! People buy stuff like this every day.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

 
ANTIQUE RARE 19C SILHOUETTE SIGNED SAMUEL METFORD HOLLOW CUT
 
The following description is from the seller of this silhouette.
 
"UP FOR AUCTION IS A RARE 19C HOLLOW CUT SILHOUETTE DONE AND SIGNED BY SAMEUL METFORD.  THIS SILHOUETTE IS 9 3/4" X 7 1/2" WITH FRAME : 12" X 10"  THIS SILHOUETTE WILL NEED SOME REPAIR, PAPER IS SLITTING DOWN THE CENTER, SHOWN IN MY PHOTOS."
 
A few potential bidders asked some quesions.
 
Q:  Does the other tear about an inch from the gentleman's back you mention (not the slitting) show in any of the photos? If so, which? If not, could you post a photo showing it ...and also a photo showing the actual back of the silhouette as opposed to the backside of the frame? Year done? Thank you! Apr-04-13
A:   HELLO...YES, YOU CAN SEE THE TEAR CLEARLY IN THE SECOND TO LAST PHOTO. I CAN NOT GET YOU A PICTURE OF THE BACK OF THE SILHOUETTE, DUE TO IT IS IN BETWEEN THE CARDBOARD OVAL, AND MUCH TO DELICATE TO REMOVE ...AS TO AGE, I NOT SURE, CONSIGNER SAYS IT'S ORIGINAL. THANKS!

Q:  What do you think caused the "slitting," which, if I am interpreting your photo accurately, is a vertical line down the center of the silhouette? Perhaps from being folded? How many inches long is the slit and by slit you are describing a tear in the paper, all the way through, correct? Thanks. Oh, also: in about what year or decade do you believe or know this was done? What does the other writing say besides Samuel Metford? Apr-02-13
A:   HELLO...IT LOOKS LIKE THE SPLIT WAS CAUSED BY FOLDING, IT IS ABOUT 2 1/2" AT THE TOP, AND ALSO AT THE BOTTOM ABOUT AN 1"(ALL THE WAY THROUGH) THERE IS AN ADDITIONAL TEAR ON THE LEFT SIDE ABOUT AN 1" FROM THE BACK OF THE GENTLEMAN. IT LOOKS TO ME THE WRITING SAYS CONCH MUDYE BY SAMUEL METFORD THANKS FOR YOUR QUESTION
 
B. M. Jones writes:
I am taking on this silhouette as it is an interesting one. This seller has no idea of what he is selling, calling it a "hollow cut." Those potential buyers' questions are quite silly. Do you remember your teachers telling you that there are no dumb questions and the only dumb questions are the ones you don't ask? That is a lie every teacher told us. Let's face it: silly questions are silly, and dumb questions are dumb. Those questions are what they are because the people asking those questions have little or no knowledge about the subject. Good questions come from those who have knowledge on the subject.
 
The first person asks what year it was done. The second person wants to know "in about what year or decade do you believe or know this was done"? They are asking the wrong person. How can you rely on someone who reads "Enoch Mudge" as "CONCH MUDYE"? If they are really interested in this silhouette why don't they do a research on it themselves? Internet has many answers. Some people are just plain lazy!
 
Everyone seems to have been worried about the "slitting." All they had to do was just blow-up the images. I was looking at those same images, and I was able to come up with my own conclusion. Basically, all one had to do was add one and one to get an answer of two. Didn't anybody see the ghost impression to the right of the man? Of course, it was folded once with the podium tucked behind the man. That is why there is that ghost impression of this man, along with a weak impression of the podium to the left of the standing man. Every answer was in those images; all one had to do was look. Why would one of the owners fold this silhouette and hide the podium? I think that owner had another image that he/she wanted to display next to this preacher.
 
I really would like to get my paws under that oval mat. I think that mat is hiding some defects and maybe even additional writings. I looked carefully at the inscription and believe it is by Metford. If we could agree on that, then this image must be of Enoch Mudge, a preacher from Massachusetts. However, I have never seen another Metford's inscription that was written on top center. In fact, I have never seen any silhouette artist who took that "position" to inscribe, as artists have the tendency to inscribe below the profile or to the side of it. Does anyone know of another Metford that was inscribed on the top?
 
This silhouette brought $271. Mudge is a historical figure, and he died in 1850, which was before the craze of common photography. His dag and ambro may exist, a big maybe. If this silhouette is really that of Mudge, it is an important find and would likely date from the late 30s or the early 40s.
 
 
 


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