This delightful English profile silhouette of a Georgian gentleman is by the sought after artist Edward Foster. Edward Foster was a professional silhouette artist with a well-documented history. Foster lived to the grand age of 102, married 5 times and had 17 children. He was born in 1762 and died in 1864. This particular type of silhouette produced by Foster is known as a ‘red silhouette’.
‘Foster’s “red” profiles are so called because of the colour of their backgrounds, which varies in fact between a strong Indian (or Venetian red) and reddish-brown. These silhouettes are embellished in fine gold, covered with a fine layer of gum Arabic.’
The aging process to the silhouette's texture is aptly described by Sue Mcckechnie ‘Over the years, this gum has peeled a little and some crazing (in very small pieces, because of the thinness of the layer of gum) has resulted).’ Ref: Sue Mckechnie (1978). British Silhouette Artists and their Work 1760 – 1860 Pages 400 – 405. Please section two, three, four, five, six and Seven for in depth information on Foster.
Foster had an extensive military career of 30 years seeing service in the American War of Independence, Holland and Egypt. He retired from the army on the Day of the Battle of Trafalgar. After his career in the army he went on to develop his painting skill that he had developed during his time in the military. He is said to have been appointed ‘Miniature painter to the royal family’ with the special patronage of Queen Charlotte and of Princes Amelia. This is shown by the occasional use of the Royal Crown on his brass hangers.
Our male painted silhouette on card is housed behind old convex glass in the most attractive original papier mache frame. The artist has signed and dated the painting below the bust line in the tiniest hand painted text reading ‘Foster 1824.’ The text on the reverse reads ‘G. G. Grandfath to K.M Herring.’ We have removed the card backing; the pencil inscription to the rear reads ‘ Miss Lyth, Dove Cote, Dove St, York. Dr Wrigley.’
The sitter is doctor, surgeon and apothecary Thomas Wrigley (b 1789 – d 1848) of Huddersfield, England. His father in law was Godfrey Berry (b 1756 – 1829). The pair were pioneering figures in Huddersfield’s early urban history. Thomas married Christiana Berry (b 1791 – 1858) in 1815; Christiana was the 6th child of Godfrey and Elizabeth Berry.
Measuring: Frame width 4.75 inch (12 cm) by height 5.5 inch (14 cm).Aperture width 2 5/8 inch (6.5 cm) by height 3.25 inch (8.5 cm).
Condition: Light area of faded discoloration at 9 o clock, small 0.25 inch tear to the paper at 5 o clock.
This is a desirable silhouette by a sought after artist, the perfect for anyone who collects silhouettes.
As shown in the last image retailed separately is another silhouette by Foster of the mother of Thomas Wrigley, Elizabeth Wrigley, nee Kenworthy (b 1748 – d 1829).
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