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 http://www.ebay.com/itm/1832-Auguste-Edouart-Silhouette-of-Reverend-Henry-Anton-family-/301365215415?ssPageName=ADME:SS:SS:US:1120
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.
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.
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.