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Buncombe, John

Date and place of birth:
Date and place of death:
(fl) c 1795-1830
Known places of work:
Isle of Wight
Known techniques:
Painted on card
Known materials:
Not recorded


Work by Buncombe arouses considerable interest, as it is finely executed work of the highest standard. There is however controversy as to whether this work is by Charles, the father, or by John the son, or indeed by both. Discussion of work by Buncombe is to be found in the entry for Charles Buncombe.

In McKechnie’s view, John was not yet born when work by Buncombe first appeared. However Joll takes the view that only John was a silhouette artist. To further confuse the situation, the Victoria and Albert museum holds work listed as being by Charles Buncombe, and work attributed to him is sold at auction. The only ‘Buncombe’ trade labels in existence indeed appear to be in the name of J Buncombe. These were attached to a paint-box and to a few paintings dated to the start of the 19th century. However, according to McKechnie Committee Minutes for 1830 regarding the apprenticeship of John Buncombe prove that he could not even have been born by these dates. It has been speculated that the ‘J’ on the trade labels is a miss-reading, or indicative of Charles’ middle name. Discussion about the true identity of Buncombe silhouettes is ongoing.

Additional research about John Buncombe:

Source: McKechnie (Author of, British Silhouette Artists and their Work 1760-1860)

Buncombe, John (McKechnie Section 7)

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

Buncombe, John (SCC Newsletter August 2007)
Buncombe, John (SCC Newsletter January 2012)
Buncombe, John (SCC Newsletter October 1997)

Gallery Silhouettes

Front of Silhouette, in frame, with woman looking rightFront of silhouette, in frame, with man looking left, with a hat, wearing blue and yellow jacket.Front of silhouette, in frame, with man looking left, wearing a stock.Front of Silhouette, in frame, with soldier looking and wearing an uniform