1791 George Washington Silhouette Miniature
I've got a friend who's a dealer in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He called me once and said he had found a silhouette of George Washington and just really kind of piqued my interest, and so he emailed me a photo. I said, "I love it, send it to me." He said, "It's going to need some work," and I said, "That doesn't bother me." There was a card on the back that the lady had put that her father or great-grandfather bought it, you know, and where he had acquired it. There was areas missing on the frame and a lot of the beading was either loose and some segments were off. And they pointed out that it originally would have had some type of mat around it, and so the recommendation was to make that black, oval circle the mat.
So this part here?
So you had this glass made, okay.
That glass was made.
And then the paper part, this was all original, and that's just regular laid paper, which is 18th century paper. So what you have is a really detailed silhouette portrait. And it's amazing, if you think about it, how much you can tell from the profile. You know, you look at that and you know it's George Washington. The lace is wonderfully done, this, all in ink. If you look at the back here, you see this looks like a scratch at first, and this is actually the back of his wig, the long hair coming down, and that's negative space here. These two lines I think are probably scratches. Most importantly, you have here "S. Folwell," for Samuel Folwell, and then the date, 1791. Samuel Folwell was born in 1765 and he died in November of 1813. The great thing here is that I see that when you sent it to the conservatory, they put acid-free paper behind that original paper, which is so smart, and then they attached back this original backboard, which is probably yellow pine. And I can read here, "Likeness of General George Washington taken in 1791 while on a visit to the city of Charleston, South Carolina." George Washington was in Charleston, South Carolina, in May of 1791. So you have here Samuel Folwell, who we know worked in Charleston, and he was there in 1791. He worked in Philadelphia, he worked in New York, but this is one place he worked. So you put those two together, and I really think there's a very good chance that this is actually from life. If this were just one of the later portraits-- another one came up with a 1790s date, but not this early. That brought about $9,500, okay?
Gosh. That would be great.
Now, if it turns out to be from life, I think this has easily the possibility of being worth $15,000 to $18,000.
You're kidding, wow.
It deserves to be someplace special.
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