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Brierley, Simeon

Date and place of birth:
1835, Rochdale
Date and place of death:
1906, Rochdale
Known places of work:
Known techniques:
Cut paper
Known materials:
Not Recorded


Brierley had a busy life as an artist, working in a number of calico printing works in the Rochdale area. He produced silhouettes seemingly as a hobby, gaining an interest in them from a young age.

Brierley was trained in pattern designing and employed as a sketch maker, which required some artistic ability. He was known to be a hard worker, and did not retire until his late sixties. Brierly seems to have produced silhouettes as a hobby throughout his life, and mainly profiled family and friends. Apparently he continued to make silhouettes when he was nearing seventy and his right hand was affected with rheumatism. Some controversy surrounds his death, aged 71; rumours suggest that he drowned in a reservoir.

Brierley used paper that was black on one side and white on the other, and always folded double. At times, he also worked on all white papers. He did draw an outline, before cutting his work freehand. His style was accomplished but not particularly distinguished for its time. Six framed examples of his work were sold by an auction house in Haywards Heath in 1981. Unfortunately, he did not sign his work, making attribution more difficult.

Additional research about Simeon Brierley:

Source: Joll (Hon. Secretary of the Silhouette Collectors Club and Editor of the Club's newsletter)

Brierley, Simeon (SCC Newsletter March 1994)