Nice Bache but too Bad

Some eBayer had to ask, "Can you please tell me whether this silhouette is cut & paste with painted embellishment or all painted?"

Seller revised by stating, "Please note: I can see part of an embossed area reading Bache's - I assume for Bache's Patent - Bache was an important American silhouettist (1771-1845)."

I knew it was Bache even seeing the stamp and thought that I could get it real cheap. When someone asks that sort of questions, it is like choking your own neck. It brought $400, which is a strong price especially enclosed in that frame that is very English. What worries me is that the oval opening is way too small for Bache. I do not know whether the paper is folded to fit the opening or just plain cut off to accompany the opening. Whichever, it must be defective. As a general rule, you do not cut the silhouette to fit the frame. You find one that is large enough to accomondate it.

Common Peale Museum Silhouettes Scarce Subject

From the seller: "This is a pair of antique Silhouttes. They measure 5 1/4" X 4 1/4" each. Each is stamped with the word "MUSEUM". The boy stamp is very light..." The pair brought $260. That is a bargain even with their ugly modern frames.

Silhouettes of children are much sought after and are scarce. I would estimate that for every 100 silhouettes, 5 will be that of children, or 5%. This estimate is very liberal. They are difficult to find. Although scarce as a subject, those cut at the Peale's Museum are the commonest. Silhouettes of children by any other cutters are rare.


Henry Williams Silhouette and Portrait Painting

The images and their descriptions came from Jane. I could only dream about owning such a painting.

Attached are photos of both the Henry Williams' portrait of Henry Burroughs, and the Williams' silhouette of Master John Day. Henry Burroughs was painted circa 1810, and he lived in Boston, Ma. his entire life. He was born in 1783, and died in 1870. His portrait is in the original gold frame and measures 25 1/2"x 31 1/2" overall. This portrait was most likely exhibited at Harvard University in an exhibition by Alan Burroughs, who graduated, I believe, in 1934. Alan Burroughs,incidently, was a pioneer in the application of X-radiography to the examination of works of art at The Harvard University Art Museum.

Master John Day was cut by Williams around the same time, in Boston, and he is also in his original frame. I haven't been able to trace John Day as of this time. I would estimate his age around 10-12 years old when his silhouette was made.

I acquired the silhouette at an antique show about 10 years ago, and recently acquired the portrait from a Connecticut dealer's website. It really is neat to have an example of both mediums in which Henry Williams is noted for being an accomplished artist! The oil portrait of Burroughs almost takes your breath away with its detail of the face. It doesn't show up as detailed in the photo, however.

ED's NOTE: We no longer consider those silhouettes stamped WILLIAMS to be the works by Henry Williams. This silhouette here was likely made in the 1920s. For more on this subject, see 1/10/2012 posting.