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Friday, July 27, 2012

Antique Silhouettes

Silhouettes are so interesting.  They can be a scene or just a side portrait, what ever they are, they have fascinated us and been a favorite decorating choice for years.  Silhouettes first became popular around the 15th century for the aristocracy, usually made into jewelry.  Carrying a likeness of a loved one on a locket around your neck was all the rage.  Finally more and more artists were finding ways to create an affordable silhouette,  By 1700- 1800 they were being done for the masses by painting on glass and by cutting them from paper.

Silhouettes painted on glass in reverse were very favored during the end of the last century and the early part of this one.  This is one that my mother had forever and I always loved the beautiful lady.  Reminded me of a great Southern Belle out for a stroll.

 The back is interesting and tells you all about the picture.  It is called Glad Tidings.  It was to be paired with the Missive, however my mother didn't have that one.  It was patented in 1933 and this is # 2020 series.

I was curious about "The Missive" and found this image on ebay.  I don't think it is nearly as lovely as the one my mom had, so I can understand why she didn't buy it.  These were both being offered for $24.99.  Not at all expensive, but they are fun to see.

 Then there was the art of cutting silhouettes out of paper.  This is me, signed and dated 1950 by the artist.  I remember we were in Woolworth in downtown Ft. Worth and a man had a small chair and easel set up.  It had been raining, so I had on a scarf.  My mom had a silhouette of both my sister and I done.

 I am trying hard not to clutter things up in the guest room.  However I really wanted to hang these two up.

 I put them on either side of the bed warmer in this corner.

 Silhouettes have also been fabulous needlework projects for years too.

 These are cross stitch of George and Martha that I did many, many years ago.

I see a lot of you doing silhouettes of your children and adding them to a collage.  Love that look.  A fabulous way to capture them throughout their life.  Little faces to adult and all the changes in between.

I am joining the following parties:

Jen at Tatertots and Jello for the Weekend Wrap-up Party
Donna ar Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
Amy at Positively Splendid for Saturday Seven
Aimee at Twigg Studios for Sunday Showoff
Sunny at Sunny Simple Life for Sunny Simple Sunday
Jamielyn at I Heart Nap Time for Sunday Scoop Party
SJ at Homemaker on a Dime for Creative Bloggers Party
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday
Mary at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Susan at Between Naps On The Porch for Metamorphosis Monday 


  1. Dear Miss Marty,

    My grandmother has a set of silhouette's that are similar to your mom's but they feature a colorful background. Every time I visit her I gaze with a whistful heart. :)

  2. I don't have any silhouettes but I always look at them. Maybe I need a new collection!

  3. Love silhouette's. I am so glad my mom saved mine from when I was a little boy. It now graces my parlor. Thanks for sharing! xo, Ron

  4. These are so pretty Marty! I have seen ones done of the children, and I think I might try it! thanks for sharing these.


  5. HI MARTY!!!
    I too LOVE silhouette's!!!My daughter has the kids done everytime we go to Disneyworld!!!The Park SPCOT in France land...those french students who go there to work are mighty good with those tiny scissors!!!I love how my daughter displays them too.....I will have to snap a pic and show you some time!!!!I LOVE your awesome to remember all the details of that day!!!!
    Love all of yours!!

  6. So pretty Marty!! I love all of the different ones you have!

  7. Marty -- I am so thrilled with the current popularity of silhouettes -- I am especially in awe of the artform scherenschnitte. I've always enjoyed cutting paper and would someday LOVE to learn from someone who knows what they are doing, lol. You are very blessed to have these pieces that were your mothers. You've displayed them beautifully. Also really liking your stitched sils :)

    Happy weekend wishes!


  8. I have always had a fondness for silhouettes! I inherited a set of small pictures that are silhouettes of a boy sailing a sailboat and of windmills. These are about 3x5 and are of wood so when you hang them, the background is the color of your wall. I also recently had a silhouette cut of my granddaughter at age 1. Yours are so nice!

  9. Yes Marty!! They are all around! I love all the ones you have! I wish I've done one for my kids when they were little! Now days they are the ones who don't like them!!
    You have so many treasures on the corner of that room!

  10. Your silhouette art is beautiful. It looks great in your home.

  11. those are so pretty.. I'd love to do some in cross stitch.

  12. Oh how NEAT!!

    The only silouettes I have in my home are 2 miniature ovals in black and white in my 1:12 dollhouse.

    Yours of when you a sweet young girl - just precious!

  13. So pretty Marty, you always have the neatest ideas.

  14. I don't know if you remember, but I have a reversed painting...I should put it in the guest room...Hmm, gotta go!!

  15. Marty,
    Your silouettes in cross stitch are exquisite! I adore the one of you with your scarf! What precious treasures! Paired with the one of your mother's makes a stunning statement in your guest room!!!

  16. I love your silhouettes Marty! Your guest room is gorgeous as all your rooms are! Your decor is so stylish and you have such a talent for decorating. I visit you at your every post, just to see what beautiful things you have done.

  17. Very pretty! Silhouettes are so classy and classic! :) Love it!


  18. what a great collection. too fun. (:

  19. I had never seen a silhouette painted on the glass before - just lovely! And I really love the one of you as a young girl. Ann

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  21. These are lovely! The one of you done at woolworths is awesome! I remember woolworths but never saw a silhouette artist at one!

  22. How special to have the one your Mom had made of you. I'm glad you displayed the two. What a shame to hide them away! So cute on the wall.

  23. I love them. Have always wanted to collect them. Like I need another collection. Don't you think the ones cut from paper are amazing? Can you imagine the difficulty. Thanks for sharing and the cool info on them.