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Maker(s):Whitcomb, James Hosley (attributed to)
Culture:American (1806-1849)
Title:silhouette: Catherine Wells
Date Made:1836
Materials:paper, textile: black silk; maple[?], glass
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Montague?
Measurements:overall: 4 x 2 7/8 in.; 10.16 cm
Accession Number:  HD 94.007.3
Credit Line:Gift of Eunice Clapp Bostwick
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

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. Small paper hollow-cut silhouette portrait bust of a woman, facing right, wearing a collar and ribbon above a cut abstraction of her shoulder line and bust, lined with black silk and mounted in its original black molded frame. The silhouette is the work of an unidentified professional cutter at work in western Mass. in 1836; could possibly be the work of James Hosley Whitcomb (1806-1849).


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