Another fake Edouart was brought to my attention last night, only 15 hours before the listing was set to close. It’s a sweet silhouette, nicely done, but it is definitely not what it purports to be, and here is why. This silhouette purports to be from Edouart’s rescued folios, dated 1843, American cut, with his grease pencil light embellishment.
The inscription pasted to the bottom of the background paper shows no salt water damage and has very black ink. Edouart used iron gall ink and it has all gone brown by now–and any paper that was on the bottom of the Bay of Guernsey has faded even more.
The seller shows us very little of the inscription on the back of the figure which can be seen through the keyhole on the background paper. Obviously, this keeps us from evaluating the writing, ink, paper, saltwater damage, etc. The response from the seller about this point is that she/he did not want to damage the silhouette by showing more. I’m not sure what this means since the silhouette appears to have glass on the back which would allow the keyhole to be seen without having to remove any backing.
The silhouette does come with an authentic Arthur Vernay label which appears to be wrapped around the edge of the narrow black frame (the frame is the type that Vernay used). I’ve never seen one of Vernay’s collection labels wrapped around the edge of the frame and doubt that he would have done so. The labels were glued to the back glass in a lower corner. The glass may well have come from a real duplicate silhouette and have been put onto the back of this one. It does appear to be glued to glass although the seller never shows us a photo of the entire back, making it impossible to evaluate further.
I missed this silhouette until it was brought to my attention because the title misspells Edouart’s name. The title is “Antique 1843 Original Auguste Edouarte Cut Paper Silhouette Mary Taylor Travers”. So, even though I search every day for “Edouart”, this silhouette never came up. What really irked me is that the seller used my name for more information about “Edouarte”. This unauthorized use of my name lends credibility to a silhouette which deserved none. While I appreciate sellers of all kinds citing to me, if someone wants to use my name in a listing for sale, that person need to check with me first. If this seller had done so, I could have told her the issues with the silhouette before it was listed. To the seller’s credit, after my message, she did remove my name and gave a not very plausible excuse for the poor picture of the back keyhole. Also, giving him/her a bit of leeway, the seller may not have realized that the piece is not write. But, then, why not show the entire back? As of this writing, the listing has less than one hour to go and, so far, no bids. However, since two fake Edouarts have sold on ebay within the last 2 weeks (different seller), there is still a very good chance that someone will buy it. Then, we’ll have yet another fake Edouart on the market.
The listing can be seen on ebay for 30 days after it closes at http://www.ebay.com/itm/121441916719?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT. You can also search ebay closed listings for # 121441916719. Watch to see if this seller relists the silhouette (assuming it does not sell) and, if he does, message him to say that the silhouette is not right. We’ve worked together to have a fake Edouart removed from ebay before. We can do it again!
Also note that these photos were copied from the ebay listing. While the photos are the property of the seller, their use here for educational purposes is not a copyright violation.
Update: The silhouette was immediately relisted and can be seen at http://www.ebay.com/itm/111471920682?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2661&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT or by searching ebay for item # 111471920682.