Thursday, April 13, 2023



We have a silhouette, made in 1851, of a great-great-great-uncle, Alfred Edward Hands, when he was two. (There may be another great or two in there).

It really needs a bit of protection from ambient dust and dirt and what-not, so I shall have to make a glassed-in shadow box to house it.

The drawing-in over the silhouette appears to have been done with a gold stylus; the metallic sheen doesn't really come through well in this scan. The background drawing — the toy and floorboards, and the curls of hair — appear to have been done in croquil pen and ink line and washes. I'd describe it as being careful and meticulous work, to a good professional standard, rather than the work of a highly skilled artiste. Nevertheless, it's a pretty little thing.

Next day...

The shadow-box is complete, and Alfred is safe behind glass. I've left a space at the bottom for a caption plate, which I will no doubt get around to in another decade or so.

I used a nicely figured bit of rimu for the frame, and plain old 7mm plywood for the backing board. The top is not glued, just held in place by brass screws, so I can access the innards at my whim.

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