Tuesday

William? William Who? Williams?


Something just crossed my mind so here I sit, writing. I should be watching the "American Idol" but....

If your name was "William" you could have been cutting profiles in the early 19th century:
William Bache, William Doyle, William King, William Chamberlain, William Henry Brown, Henry William(s), Moses William(s). Did I miss some? Probably, but that is a lot of Williams!

I did not sleep well last night as many unanswered questions kept popping in my mind.

1. If sitters paid a shilling for a pair of hollow-cuts, did they take home the "inside" cuttings that Carrick called "hole in the doughnut" as well? Or were they the property of the cutters? I understand that Moses Williams kept two full barrels of those "hole in the doughnuts."

2. Where did artists get an idea of making hollow-cuts? It seems more appropriate to present the sitters with the "insides."

3. Artists never used black paper for hollow-cuts and then back them with white paper? Why?

4. Why couldn't cut-and-paste artists use white paper cut-outs and then mount them on black paper?

I "think(ed)" myself to sleep yesterday! It looks like it is back to square one again tonight.

Did Moses Williams walk around with an embossing device in his pocket? Or was the device mounted on to a wall for anyone to use? What is this silhouette that is being attributed to Moses William with the inscription, "Moses Williams, cutter of profiles"? Some writers have "etched" its attribution in stone. The penmanship, at least to me, does not even resemble that of early 19th century, and there is no provenance attributing the profile to Williams either. A simple inscription can always be added by anyone, anytime.

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