Another Edouart–You tell me

Cresent City Auctions NO 01 141115

Okay Edouart students!  You tell me what is wrong with this “Edouart” coming up for auction.  I’m anxious to read your thoughts.

Cresent City Auctions NO 02 141115



Liz says: “The clothing and hairstyles don’t look quite right to me for the time period, especially the woman’s figure. The hands are poorly cut. And, the “original gold leaf and gesso frame” would not have been original to a genuine Edouart. I’m sure I’ve missed other red flags, I’m anxious to hear what your observations are!”

From my Facebook page come the following comments:

Sherry says: “crude

Bradley says: “The handwriting is crude, and the figures lack detail.

Kathryn says: “Feet are wrong, shading on the ground is strange and cross hatchy, the manner in which the piece is documented is off (signatures and sitter information in the wrong places and pertinent information left out).
This part is just my opinion:
The piece seems too tight to me, and the most bothersome thing aesthetically to me is the composition itself. The Mother is engaging the children and reading to them…wouldn’t he have made the children facing her and listening to her, instead of facing away, posing strangely, and walking away from their Mother?

These are all very good observations.  You are correct on all counts. The crudeness of the figures is the first thing I noted.  The feet are something that a potential buyer should look at first–for some reason, fakers seem to have a hard time replicating Edouart’s feet or they just aren’t trying that hard.  This silhouette purports to be a commissioned silhouette–that is, one that was paid for and given to the customer as opposed to a duplicate out of his folios. I don’t remember seeing a commissioned piece where Edouart wrote sitter info on the back of the silhouette. And, as a conversation piece, the sitters should be engaged, not all looking in the same direction. Buyers beware of “American-cut Edouarts”.  They command a higher price in America, therefore, we see more fakes.  You should know what you are looking for and at before buying.  Edouart spent little time in the Southern states and a large portion of the “Southern Edouarts” that come on the market are fake. Some of the fakes are quite good and harder to spot–this piece is not so good.  Always study a piece before buying it!



Real or fake?

301365215415 ebay 01        301365215415 ebay 09






Okay readers. Let’s see if I’ve been successful in teaching you about spotting fake Edouarts.  Current ebay listing # 301365215415 is fake.  You can see the listing at

The seller says “Auguste Edouart silhouette of Reverend Henry Anton ,  29 Oct, 1932. His wife Mrs. Agnes Anton, and Master H. Anton,  7 years  Oct 1832.   Frame is not in great condition, but appears to be original to the silhouette.   Back of frame reads folio(?) from Edouarts book of silhouettes. Reverend Anton and Family. Has some discoloration and wear . ”

I’m giving the seller the benefit of the doubt that he/she does not recognize that it is fake.  This seller does not appear to sell many silhouettes….or many antiques.

Question for you–can you tell me the signs that it is fake?  If you click on the photos they will enlarge so you can see them better.301365215415 ebay 05


301365215415 ebay 03

301365215415 ebay 06




301365215415 ebay 04

301365215415 ebay 07







301365215415 ebay 08

Liz says: Hi Peggy, Well, let’s see. That scrabble is certainly not Edouart’s handwriting, and the ink appears to be in two different colors. The awkwardly cut figures look like cartoon characters! The feet are particularly bad.

Peggy replies:  Liz is correct on all counts.  Very good observation!  Can anyone else point out any other clues?

Barrett says: “I do not like the frame…”

Peggy replies: The frame is pretty horrible.  If the silhouette was supposed to be a commissioned piece by Edouart, we’d know that the frame was not original because Edouart only framed his pieces in maple frames.  However, this silhouette purports to be from the duplicate folios which were never framed until the 20th century.  Mrs. Jackson and Mr. Vernay only framed duplicates in simple ebonized frames that were made in the early 20th century.  If the silhouette were real, the frame would not be “original”.  Incidentally, the sitter names are not in Mrs. Jackson’s list so they could not have come from any of the folios that she got from the Lukis family.  There have been several folios turn up since that time so not all are in the list.  But, checking the list is always a good place to start when considering purchasing an Edouart duplicate.

More thoughts?

From my Facebook page, Bradley says:  “Everything is wrong. Thanks for the chuckle Peggy! Is that dog wearing a graduation cap?”  and: “She looks to have a baby rabbit on her sleeve and crepe paper flowers on her skirt. And those feet….. I can hear Edouart rolling over.

All very astute observations and comments.  To reader comments, I would add, the man’s collar is not cut far enough back about the jacket and the tails on his coat seem a bit too short for the period (that’s a nit-picky one).  There are no button holes cut in the man’s jacket.  Everyone’s hair is ill-defined (Edouart liked to cut wisps of hair for great definition).  There are no cut eyelashes. The bottom of the hat rim is oddly wavy.  The woman’s hair looks like a blob where Edouart would cut it so that you could see where it was braided and all of the details of the hairstyle and hair comb.  The dog is atrociously cut in pretty much all respects where Edouart cut the most amazing dogs and horses.  The feet are the first dead giveaway that you should learn to spot at a distance.  And, as Bradley commented, they all look like cartoon-characters.

As of today, the ebay listing has two bids for a price of $11.50.  Let’s hope it doesn’t go any further!

Note: The ebay listing ended last night with 3 bidders placing 5 bids.  The “lucky” high bidder got a simply horrific fake silhouette in a pretty awful frame for $33,99 plus shipping.