Mary Wray silhouette

Mary Wray miniatureAn interesting conversation piece created by Mrs Mary Wray in 1765 includes a game of Battledore and Shuttlecock. During the second part of the 18th Century the vogue for silhouettes reached its peak, and many people created shadow portraits of members of their family using scissors and black paper. Mary Wray who lived from 1740 to 1803 was one of these early profilists, her work showing great skill and intricacy. This example from 1765, includes members of her own family and illustrate pastimes of the period – two of those illustrated are shown taking coffee (one smoking a Hookah or Hubble-Bubble), another is seated at an easel painting, while two ladies play Battledore and Shuttlecock possibly counting their number of hits and seeing how long they can keep the shuttlecock in the air.

In Badminton, May/June 1997 we learn that Bonhams, the London Auctioners intend to put the miniature under the hammer. They describe it as cut out on card with an original stained wood frame with gilded inner border. It is expected to fetch between £4,000 and £6,000. We regret we do not what the outcome was!!!