Miss C.H. Hudson is a rarely found and highly desirable artist. Sue McKechnie believed that C.H. Hudson was likely a descendent of Elizabeth Hudson (née Chilcot). Mrs. Hudson, born in Bath between 1750 and 1754, painted silhouettes between 1793 and the early 1800s. Elizabeth Hudson specialized in bust-length profiles reverse-painted on convex glass backed with plaster but may also have used ivory as a base. Thanks to recent research by my very good friend, Cynthia McKinley, we now know that C.H. Hudson was the same artist who signed some of her work, "Miss Hudson". If C.H. Hudson was the daughter of Elizabeth, then Elizabeth would have been between 40 and 45 years old when C.H. ws born.
Known signed work shows that C.H. Hudson painted her very delicate silhouettes during the years 1810 and 1821 (at least). Miss Hudson's profiles are reverse painted on slightly convex glass using a stippled base within an outlined edge with darker line-work and cross-hatching. Gold is only used for buttons. Her finest work is without doubt to be seen in her profiles of children which are well-modeled, with good detail. Miss Hudson's silhouettes are consistently backed with cream silk stitched over card and set in papier-mâché frames.
This is a lovely Hudson silhouette of a baby seated on a pillow. The baby wears a coat, tied with a ribbon to the front and topped with a ruffed collar. Ruffles top each shoulder and the sleeves appear to be tied at intervals down the arm. The straw hat is, perhaps, the most eye-catching aspect of the profile, with its two large feather plumes. The silhouette is backed by its original cream-colored silk which is wrapped around card. As you can see, the silk is fragile and has some losses. It could be replaced, but I would not do so. There is a little paint loss in the baby's proper left hand and on the dress below the proper right hand. The back of the original papier mâché frame retains the original paper backing, signed "Painted / by / C.H. Hudson / April 1821". Framed side is 4 5/8" x 4 1/4". This is possibly a sibling to the child with its dog that I'm also listing today. A rarity!
(#5129) Sale Pending
McKechnie, Sue, British Silhouette Artists and their Work: 1760-1860 (Sotheby Park Bernet Publications, 1978) 713 & plate 1538.
McKinley, Cynthia, "Miss C.H. Hudson", News, Views & Comment, 2012.