Antique American Folk Silhouette by Rarely-Found Maine Artist
  • You all know my love for American folk silhouettes and I’m pleased to offer this very nice lady by a rarely found artist. We don’t yet know the identity of this artist but most of the silhouettes that I’ve seen by this hand are associated with Maine. Granted, this lady has no history, I still think of her as a citizen of Maine. This is the first half-body that I’ve found of this artist. The work I’ve found in the past has all been full-length, some fully hollow cut, some mostly hollow cut (as with a man whose coat lapel, collar and shirt front were uncut but above and below that, he was totally hollow cut) and one other that had a hollow cut head and a painted body. This lady has a grey dress with many of the same characteristics as a full length young girl that I sold last year. I’ve included an image of the full length girl for your comparison. Note the circles that comprise the sleeves; the quickly drawn hand that sprouts from a cuff that sticks out from the end of the sleeve; the open book which indicates the writing on the pages but also the spine of the book; the triangular nature of the cutting below the neck and the way it fits into the top of the dress. This lady is definitely the same artist as the past girl even though the proportions of her body are much more competently rendered. This is truly what I love about folk silhouettes and the characteristics emphasize how Modern Art of the early 20th century grew out of the folk art of the 19th century.

    This lady is in very good condition with minimal toning to the paper and a repaired tear from the top of her hair comb to the paper’s edge at about 11 o’clock. The reverse of the paper has proper ghosting to authenticate her circa 1820 origin. She resides in a period gilt frame that measures 7 ¼” x 5 ¼”. The paper size is 5 1/8” x 3 1/8”. The black fabric is modern and has been lightly glued to the paper in two small places—I won’t try to get it off. Considering the archival tape used for the repair, I’m hoping that the glue on the fabric is also acid free.

    This is great American folk art!

    (#5525)      Sale Pending