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Silhouettes bring a surprise

My bid on this pair of silhouettes was the winner, and they arrived in today's mail. Silhouettes are selling well on Ebay..$200 up when framed, so when I found this pair unframed I thought I might have a chance.

First of all, I wanted something that was actually old. They appeared from their condition to be the real thing. The tears and silverfish spots were a plus in my opinion. Then the seller said that one was marked with some embossing by the Peale museum, so I liked that, too.

The surprise came when I opened them up. Each was in a protective slip, backed by paper. I was looking for the Peale museum mark, whatever that was supposed to be, but found instead, written on the back of the lady, a note in faded period brown ink that says "Robert and Mary Adams 1818."

I can't imagine why the seller didn't mention that in his Ebay description. Either he never took them out of their protective sleeve, or he missed seeing it entirely. It is rather faded, but completely authentic, and certainly wasn't added later.

I already have frames that will work for them, but will continue to monitor the frames on line in case something perfect comes up. The frames I have are 1840's, a bit late, but they will DO until I find a good one buried in the Ebay listings. I need two good ones, actually. They don't need to match ( that is asking too much ), and I really don't want them to match.

Every primitive collector needs a silhouette or two. I think I was very lucky to get them both for $30 ( I think wonderful things slip right through Ebay all the time), and to find the 1818 date PLUS their names on the back, well, that was more than enough to let me know that I am blessed in this.

There is a big difference in feeling blessed and feeling lucky; you have to know this to know this; it really can't be explained.


  1. This was a bargain. Living in Baltimore for 5 years I'm very familiar with the Peale Museum. It is the oldest building built as a museum in American and operated in it's original Federal brick building until the 1990's now the building is just sitting up. It would be interesting to do some research on these two to see if they were famous


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