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Exceptional Polychrome Hollowcut Silhouette Pair with Stylized Bust-Lines
Probably New York State or New Hampshire, ca. 1830-1835. PRE-PHOTOGRAPHY MEMORIES. Watercolor, graphite, and ink on wove paper. Based on the distinctive bust-lines, the artist is attributed to the deaf-mute artist JAMES HOSLEY WHITCOMB, based on research published in the New Hampshire Historical Society magazine (1977) by Donna-Belle Gavin. James Holsey Whitcomb (1806-1849) born in Hancock, New Hampshire. This pair of silhouettes has it all! Note they are each "twice" hollow-cut, with the heads and bust-line areas cut and backed with black-silk, while the clothing is watercolor painted on the wove paper. The gentleman, identified as CHARLES BUROUGHS, is particularly beautifully decorated with a blue-gray coat (with buttons that stand proud), yellow vest, and blue-patterned cravat, with high white collar. The lady, LUCINDA BURROUGHS, also shows blue-gray with a splash of yellow. Based on a granny-note accompanying the piece, Charles was born in New York State in 1790, and Lucinda also in New York (Hoosick) in 1796. They were married and had 11 children. Subtle graphite embellishments are seen about their heads. Presented in a beautiful one-piece period frame, that may be original, with molded edges and central divider. Fine condition with minor toning. Frame size about 10 1/4 inches wide x 6 1/2 tall x 5/8 thick. See Skinner, the Lewis Scranton collection, 2016, for another pair by Whitcomb. Also see Silhouettes in America, 1790-1840, Blume Rifken, pp. 74-75. From a private Pennsylvania collection.
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