Antique American Hollow Cut Silhouette in Tiny Brass Frame
  • Nice American hollow cut silhouette in a really small brass over wood frame. I don’t know that I’ve had a frame of this style in such a small size before this one. The frame measures a mere 3 ¾” x 3 1/8”. The gent is nicely cut with some wispy hair falling over his forehead. He wears a jacket with a short rolled collar indicative of the turn of the 19th century. When I removed the artwork from the frame, I found that the bottom of the paper has long been turned up a bit to fit into this frame. This obscures part of the bust line termination in the front of the figure. The paper was likely cut down a bit to fit this frame (the silhouette predates this frame by 20 years) as the silhouette fills the paper to a greater degree than most hollow cuts of the period. However, this marriage of silhouette and frame has existed for a very long time. The nice early glass has a bit of a green tint which makes the paper appear to be a bit green, which it is not. There is a pencil inscription on the frame back which is partially illegible. Best I can make out, the pencil inscription says “Father of Mary E______ and ____-A_________”. There is also a pen inscription which appears to say “Benjamin Phelps [?]”.

    Circa 1800 silhouette in circa 1820 frame.

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