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Archives & Manuscripts

August Edouart duplicate silhouette album and index, 1827 - 1849

 Series
Identifier: SFHL-PA-033B
An album of duplicate silhouettes created by August Edouart, beginning in 1827 and during his visit to the United States, 1839-1849. Many of subjects were members of the Society of Friends, all identified. This is the only "American" Edouart folio that is still intact, and the images not only preserve a likeness in silhouettes of the sitters but also details of dress and activities.

Dates

  • 1827 - 1849

Creator

Physical Description

The condition of the album shows water damage consistent with the shipwreck. The title page "Friends" is faded.

Copyright and Rights Information

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the Curator. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Extent

2 Volumes : Bound volume 14-1/2 x 10-1/2 inches and soft bound Index titled "Friends"

Overview

An album of duplicate silhouettes created by August Edouart, beginning in 1827 and during his visit to the United States, 1839-1849. Most of subjects were members of the Society of Friends, all identified. This is the only "American" Edouart folio that is still intact, and the images not only preserve a likeness in silhouettes of the sitters but also details of dress and activities.

Biographical / Historical

Auguste Edouart (1789–1861) was a French-born silhouette artist who worked in England, Scotland and the United States in the first half of the 19th century. He began his career as a silhouette artist in London, and in 1839 travelled to the United States where he made over 4,000 cuttings, including many prominent citizens of the day as well as ordinary people. He kept copies of his work in well indexed volumes in order to be able to reproduce the images on demand. In 1849, he decided to return to France, but the ship on which he traveled, The Oneida, was wrecked in the Channel Islands. Edouart survived but lost most of his possessions including many volumes of his duplicates. The volume in Friends Historical Library is identified as one of the surviving folios. On his return to France, Edouart did not resume his career a silhouette artist, likely due to the trauma of his loss as well as competition from emerging photographic formats. He died in Calais, France, in 1861.

Other Finding Aids

A list of contents prepared by the former owner, Mr. Cl. A. Defline, and an alphabetical list prepared by the Laughons are filed in FHL Admistrative Files: Art.

Custodial History

According to the research done by Ned and Helen Laughon previous to the publication of tier book, August Edouart, A Quaker Album, twenty-one duplicate volumes survived the shipwreck and many were given to the Lukis family in Guernsey who gave Edouart shelter after the disaster. Two were destroyed in WWI and the remainder were scattered, most dismantled. The present volume was purchased in 1969 from Mr. C. A. Defline of France who had acquired it in Calais. The seller did not know the name of the artist, and the volume was purchased because it contained the images of Quakers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, 1969. Index gift of Frances Elizabeth Jackson Dover, 2mo 26, 1993. Accession No. 93.01.

Existence and Location of Copies

Published as August Edouart, A Quaker Album by Helen and Ned Laughon. Richmond, Virginia: Cheswick Press, 1987.

Related Materials

The Thomas Gilpin silhouette album contains a lithographed self-portrait by Edouart. The Edouart duplicate volume includes a silhouette of Gilpin, page 140.

Physical Description

The condition of the album shows water damage consistent with the shipwreck. The title page "Friends" is faded.

General

After the volume was purchased in 1969, on the urging of Friends House, London, the seller provided a fragmentary account of its history as he knew it. The silhouette artist was not identified until 1983 when Helen and Ned Laughon visited FHL to study silhouettes in the Library's collection, especially the Thomas Gilpin album.

Find It at the Library

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