Silhouettes were the most expedient and inexpensive form of portraiture available to New Englanders in the early 19th century. Profiles were so cheap, costing about ten cents apiece, that an artist's profit was dependent on making them as quickly as possible. Three paper silhouettes glued to same piece of black paper inscribed "These silhouettes were from the Howland attic in Conway Mass - probably late 18th or early 19th ---" The silhouettes were purchased by the donor from William W. Howland through his guardian, Rev. C.S. Wilder of Longmeadow in 1926, a year after they had also bought the sampler, portraits of Southworth and Polly Ware Howland (see HD 78.042-78.043), and other Howland family possessions found in an attic in Conway, Massachusetts. The son of Job and Hannah Jenking Howland of Barnstable, Massachusetts, Southworth Howland (1775-1853) married his first wife, Esther Allen (1780-1814), the daughter of Nathan and Persis Allen of West Brookfield, in 1799, and they had seven children. Southworth married his second wife Polly Ware (1785-1870), the daughter of Dr. Samuel and Bertha Avery Ware of Conway, Massachusetts, in 1816, and they had five children.