Such a shame that these fake Edouarts recently were offered at auction. I’ll call upon my kind readers to tell me why we know these silhouettes are fake.
Neal Auction Company sold this very fake Edouart for $735 in its November 21-22, 2015 auction. It is signed, dated 1844 and inscribed “New Orleans”. Realize there are very few Southern cut silhouettes by Edouart and fake ones come up much more than real ones.
This same silhouette sold at Crescent City Auction Gallery LLC for $900 in November 2014.
These two silhouettes came up for auction at Skinner Inc. in their October 25, 2015 auction. Luckily they did not sell at auction, although they may well have sold after auction. I hope not. They are very nice silhouettes but they are not by Edouart. Can you tell me what the clues are?
Finally….this last silhouette is a real Edouart and she is lovely. I’m showing her to you because she was such a good deal and I forgot to bid!!! I was so sad to have missed her. She was also at Skinner Inc.
Please let me hear from you so we can share the clues of what to look for in these silhouettes with the rest of the readers……this is another one of those tests where we see whether I’m a good teacher or not!
The images, with the information attached, is from liveauctioneers.com.
bh writes: Ok, I am new at this but will take a wild stab at it and risk showing how uneducated/ignorant I am.🙂 First, the empty background sticks out being so blank but I am unsure if he always had them watercolored/litho’d or whatever. Next, the feet seem weird because they all look like they’re on tippy toes. I thought one could be pointed downward but the other is usually straight ahead. Now what seems the strangest to me is the way the 6 year old boy is dressed….as an adult. Didn’t young boys dress like girls at that age? This one looks like a shrunken adult.
Peggy responds, bh, thanks for your comment. Your comments are anything but ignorant! We all start somewhere and you have been working really hard to learn about antique silhouettes. I appreciate you enthusiasm and interest! Edouart did sometimes do commissioned silhouettes with white backgrounds. The price to the sitter would have been partially determined by whether a white, litho or watercolor background was chosen. You are correct about the feet–they are nothing like Edouart’s feet. Of the 3 figures, the boy’s feet are closest to Edouart. The feet of the woman and girl are not even close. The boy is wearing an Eton suit which was fashionable for young boys in the 1840s.
Look deeper…..things like placement of body parts, awkwardness of positions, the care he took cutting hair and hands, signature characteristics of Edouart’s figures of men and boys (a clue is look at the apparel). The photos given by the auction houses are too small to see the faces clearly, but there are no cut eyelashes that I can see. Keep studying and sending comments!