Hubard Silhouettes

The images came to me from one of the readers. Having obtained that reader's permission, I use them here to illustrate what I call decorative silhouettes. For better or for worse, the reader believed these to have been cut by Hubard in the mid-1800s. His assumption was supported by: 1) The folks at the XXX Museum in XXX gave me the impression that he would cut these at public events for the entertainment of onlookers and sell them as souvenirs. 2) I was further encouraged by the fact that a well known highend dealer in XXX has continued to press me for them since I got them 3 years ago.

Collecting silhouettes is a very specialized field. There are less than a dozen dealers who specialize on the material. A few of them are far more knowledgable than the others. Most generalized antique dealers know very little about the subject.

Whenever there is Martha or George looking silhouettes, that will be the first red flag. This Hubard, the maker of these two items, could not spell his own name correctly (see photo). The reader reminded me that perhaps Hubard was drunk that day, and he too can relate such an experience. This reader is obviously a very good sport.

To my knowledge, Hubard never signed his silhouettes. He had inkstamps and pastedowns, however. These silhouettes are hollow-cuts. If a silhouette purportedly cut by Honeywell turns up, a hollow-cut, as it once did in the 20s, onw should be very suspicious of it. Carrick saw one; she thought it was genuine, but later dismissed it a fabrication.

I receive quite a few attribution requests. I always try to do my best, but it is tough to please most of the time.

Any Thoughts on This Silhouette?

I found this item on the web. It is being offered at $5400! That is a hefty price. I have never seen anything so colorful as this. Since this is my homepage, I believe I am entitled to my opinion. I like the frame, but I do not like whatever that is in the frame.

If you learned the meaning of "good" once, you will always know anything that is good on any subject. The problem is that most people only have a knack to appreciate only the bad.


Another Enigmatic Honeywell

This cut-and-paste silhouette appeared on eBay recently. It brought $250. Perhaps, it was the dreadful frame, or perhaps, it was the presence of an eyelash. Perhaps, it was the excellence in the delineation of the profile. Perhaps, it was because the seller did not mention the dimensions.

The curve of the inscription is of interest, along with the eyelash, and the year this was cut. See the example below for a similar work by Honeywell. Did she sometimes paint the eyelash? This work is attributed to 1829, which is only a few years difference from her work pictured below. Do other collectors own a Honeywell with painted eyelash? This subject may unlock one of the mysteries for further investigation.


William Bache Land Deed

This interesting item appeared recently in an auction. It is dated November 21, 1838 from the Borough of Wellsborough, County of Tioga, Pennsylvania. The parcel consisted of one and one-seventh acre located at King Street and Pearl Street. It was sold to William Bache. Although his name appears on the document, and that several people signed it, he was not one of the signers.