J. Bruff Extremely Rare Silhouette Artist

A few reference books mention him as W. Bruff but it is actually J. Bruff. Carrick mentions a single known silhouette by Bruff, belonging in the Library of Congress. I came across this silhouette about a year ago. I do not know why his silhouettes are so exceedingly rare. Is there a third Bruff out there somewhere? Like other silhouettists of his time, he used a tracing device. He most likely used a cast shadow on cloth, backed with glass, to trace the profile using a pantograph to reduce the image onto a paper.


William Bache Silhouette Print

This is a nice decorative sillhouette made in the 1920s or so. The original would have been fully painted by William Bache. This print in an old frame would look very good, and in fact, one would think this to be a genuine piece. It has a nice original antique toning around the periphery, and I am sure someone treasured it and displayed it for a long time.

Cabinet Card of Desmond Coke

Here is a cabinet card of Desmond Coke. It is autographed and dated 1910. His book, published in 1913 and titled, "The Art of Silhouette" is a classic. Although the book is on British silhouettes it is still educational and fun to read. Coke, Jackson and Wellesley were the earliest three main collectors of silhouettes. It was not until the roaring twenties that the collecting bug swept this country. Does anyone own a photo of Carrick? I would love to add her in my little collection.

Rare Wellesley Auction Catalog of Silhouettes

This thin catalog is called the "Catalog of the Collection of Silhouette Portraits Formed by Francis Wellesley, Esq., J.P. of Westfield Common, Woking" auctioned by Messrs. Christie, Manson & Woods on June 19, 1917. It is 17 pages with 174 lots. Wellesley was the author of "One Hundred Silhouette." That is the most important book on silhouettes ever published; only 100 copies were printed, and it was a prize to own back then. It is still a prize to own a copy today, too, if one could locate a copy. I will cover that book in details in the near future. Does anyone out there own a copy of this thin catalog? I have never seen another. There are no illustrations and not a pretty catalog for sure. The two things it does have are the name Wellesley and its rarity.

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