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    A Charming Collection of Hand-Cut Silhouettes from the Nineteenth Century

    [Silhouettes] [Madame Yves Maliverney, association] Album of Genre Silhouettes. Geneva [?] [n.d., ca. 1840s]. Octavo album of leaves of many colors, forty-nine loosely inserted silhouettes. Handmade album with early marbled paper-covered boards, sewn without backstrip (never present), rubbed and worn. Silhouettes fine. Loosely inserted at front board is an envelope addressed to Madame Maliverney, Chez Bruno Pasteur in Geneva. It contains a lock of hair belonging to "Emile". Next to it is a pressed rose. She was either the executor of most of these quite remarkable and incredibly detailed, delicate, cut paper silhouettes, or their recipient. Almost all are cut from one paper (with a watermark of entwined letters inside a wreath) by the same hand. A few show different hands and are cut from other papers. They are cut in the utmost detail and complexity. Their white paper is loosely inserted against cream, blue, shiny black, or gray.

    The subjects, almost all out of doors, include: lovers at the edge of a forest grove; rustic scene with couple on a road, a man and dog in a door way; couple awaiting a stagecoach approaching behind a tree; getting water from a fountain, ladder against a nearby tree, trestle table covered with food; woodman chopping at a tree with an axe in the forest; gathering wood in the forest (two scenes); goat and cow in landscape; lady with parasol and bag (empire silhouette); hunter resting on rifle near majestic tree; donkey cart crossing stone bridge, turreted house among trees on one side (extraordinary detail); landscape with majestic tree, two men, two goats; arbor, fountain, and two girls; an oval forest scene with people and pack horse (tiny damage); swain doffing hat to girl in complex sylvan scene; peasant woman with basket on head and peasant crossing bridge in perspective; hunting scene, horsemen, dogs, stag in forest (raised forelegs of stag gone); harpist playing in an interior. These are random samples. Most are of professional quality, but a few may be the work of talented amateurs. They resemble Wedgewood plaques, each worthy of separate framing. Each has been against its current colored background for some 160 years. The only flaws are in the two silhouettes mentioned. A charming collection. From the collection of Zita Books.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 397

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    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
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