Foster Bros. Decorative Silhouettes

In the 1920s and 30s, Foster Brothers of Boston made quite a few decorative silhouettes, reproductions. They charged pretty pennies for them too. We see a lot of profiles printed or transferred onto glass but they present no danger for collectors. The scary ones are the silhouettes on paper. I am not familiar with the techniques they used but it is likely they used photographic means. It captures not only the wove paper texture but embossed maker stamps as well.

Just the other day at an antiques show I saw a nice silhouette by William King. When framed, sometimes it is difficult to say whether an item is actually a hollow-cut or just a print. When the paper is pressed tightly against the glass this can spell trouble. I looked at it using a magnifying glass from different angles but was still unable to make a decision. Good thing that it was in a frame with Foster Bros. marking on the hanger and still sealed on the back after all of these years. But the silhouette looked so good and I asked the dealer if he would cut the back and remove it for inspection. I told him that it if was a hollow-cut I will pay his price. It was a print.