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Hubard Gallery (McKechnie Section 1)

This concern was founded in England in 1822, primarily in order to make commercial use of the precocious talents of the cutter W. J. Hubard (q.v.); it was presumably founded by the 'Mr Smith' whom we know to have been Hubard's business manager during the period when he worked for the gallery. From September 1822 (when Hubard's professional career began ) until March 1826 (after which time his connection with the gallery, now in the United States, appears to have ceased). Hubard was probably the only, and certainly the principal, silhouette artist working for it. Work produced under the gallery's auspices during this period is therefore discussed in the entry on Hubard. See also the entry on Jervis F. Hanks. who was likewise connected with the gallery.

The present entry follows the gallery's progress from the probable time of Hubard's departure. My main sources of information have been the Valentine Museum, Richmond, Virginia, and Mrs Van Leer Carrick's A History of American Silhouettes.

The last advertisement which implies Hubard's connection with the gallery is dated 29 March 1826. At this time the gallery was in Boston, where it had been since about November 1825. During the remainder of 1826 and throughout 1827 it was possibly touring Canada, since several of the trade labels used by the gallery after it had returned to England (probably in 1829) refer to a sojourn 'in the Canadas'. Early in 1828 it had returned to the United States. An advertisement in the Charleston Courier of 10 January 1828 (quoted in full in the entry on Hanks) shows that the gallery was opening in Charleston, South Carolina, on this date. Hubard's name is mentioned in this advertisement as well as Hanks'; nevertheless, it seems that Hanks was the active cutter at the time, although earlier works by Hubard were still on exhibition. The gallery was open for fourteen weeks in Charleston, and advertisements appeared intermittently during this time. By 4 March, when the Panharmonicon (see under Hubard) was introduced as a musical sideshow, the 'Papryotomia Gallery' (as it was styled) moved from its first address 'in Mr. Lege's Room, Queen Street' to the Market Street Museum. Some of the advertisements quoted by Mrs Carrick contain the threat to depart often expressed by galleries of this kind, followed by a statement that the gallery was remaining longer 'at the urgent request of families in the country'. One advertisement states that 'in Queen Street so many deferred until the last day, that he [Hanks] found it impossible to take their Likenesses. Numbers, who were at that time disappointed, have since had an opportunity of revisiting him, but as his stay cannot be prolonged after Thursday, those who may be disappointed on that day, will have no further opportunity. The Papryotomia and Panharmonicum will immediately accompany Master Hankes to Baltimore’. One of the last advertisements announced that Hanks would 'remain one day longer to give an exhibition and concert for the benefit of the "Society for Promoting the Gospel among Seamen". (For other advertisements of the gallery issued during this year, see under Hanks.) Later in the year the gallery moved on to Baltimore, and by July it reached the great centre for silhouette artists in the United States at the time: Salem, Massachusetts.

While the gallery was in the United States at least two catalogues of its work were published: one by Monroe and Francis, 128 Washington Street, Boston (fourth edition, 1825), the other by D. Fanshaw, 1 Murray Street, New York. A copy of the former is owned by the American Antiquarian Society; a copy of the latter, by the Massachusetts Historical Society. The title-page of the Fanshaw edition is quoted here.

A Catalogue

of the

Subjects contained

in the


to which is prefixed

A Brief Memoir



Second Edition

Price Sixpence

New York

Printed by D. Fanshaw

No. 1, Murray Street


In due course the Hubard Gallery returned to England, possibly stopping in Ireland en route. There is no documentary evidence of the date of the return, but, to judge from the costume of some of the sitters, the gallery was producing profiles of English subjects from late in 1829 until c. 1845. It is clear from a hand-bill of this gallery that, at some time in the 1 830s, the gallery was based at 109 Strand, London.


Hubard's name is used, as always, in the heading, and the handbill is illustrated with a profile of 'Mappen, Bill-Poster, Sheffield' apparently engraved after a silhouette which Hubard himself had no doubt taken in the early 1820s. The mention of 'American views, including Niagara Falls, &c.' proves that this handbill was in use after the gallery's return from the United States. It is stated that 'the Artists [note the plural] have visited all the principal towns in Great Britain, Ireland, the United States, and the Canadas'. The gallery certainly visited Ireland in May 1824 (see under Hubard), and may also have visited the country after leaving the United States for England.

Another handbill of the gallery (in the National Portrait Gallery; dated 1832: see under Hubard) is likewise illustrated by a profile which Hubard presumably took in the 1820s, contains a reference to 'American Views' (including the Niagara Falls and the National Rock Bridge in Virginia) which proves that it was used after the gallery's return to England from the United States, and bears the same London address (109 Strand). Many places visited by the gallery in England, Scotland and Ireland are mentioned in the duplicate book discussed later in this entry.

It is evident from the differing styles of the silhouettes produced by the gallery after its return to England that several artists were employed. The names of all of them may never be known, but I have been able to identify two who appear to have worked for the gallery during the 1830s: Samuel Thomas Gill and E. G. A. Norman (qq.v.), and W. G. Wall, who worked with the gallery in Dublin during the early 1840s.

Among Woodiwiss's notes I found a letter written in 1957 from a correspondent in Malvern, South Australia. This letter quoted from an advertisement, published in Adelaide on 7 March 1840, which began as follows: 'S. T. Gill, &c, late Draftsman and Water Colour Artist to the Hubard Profile Gallery, of London, begs to announce…’

A chance meeting with Mrs Geoffrey (Jess) Reed, of Kew, Victoria, led me to the discovery of much more information about this artist, whose work is highly esteemed in Australia. Mrs Reed had gathered the following details from the records of Australia's first bank, the National.

Samuel Thomas Gill was born in 1818 near Minehead in Somerset, England, and educated at the Naval and Military School in Plymouth, of which his father, the Revd Samuel Gill, was headmaster, and later at Seabrook's Academy. Gill then commenced his career as an artist in London.

In 1839 (aged 21) he arrived in South Australia, and started work in Gawler Place, Adelaide, as a painter of portraits, animals, local scenery and residences.

In 1846, he joined an exploration party led by J. A. Horracks, a pioneer pastoralist and explorer, which set out from a small settlement south of Clare, called Penwortham. On this trip Horracks gave the name 'Lake Gill' to a small lake west of Lake Tonners, but Horracks, on the shores of this lake, was accidentally shot and died. The lake was later renamed Lake Dutton.

In 1851, Gill joined in the Gold Rush to Ballarat and Bendigo, Victoria. He made many sketches of the life at the diggings, and in succeeding years produced a large number of drawings, lithographs, and watercolours of Melbourne and Victoria, and also some views in booklet form of Sydney, which he visited in 1856.

According to records, he did little work in later years, and drank heavily. He collapsed on the steps of the Elizabeth Street Post Office and died on 27 October 1880, and was buried in a public grave. In 1913, the Historical Society of Victoria had the artist's remains interred privately, and a tombstone erected.

Whether or not this artist ever married has never been ascertained. Gill was one of the most important [Australian] artists of the day. In addition to its fine artistic qualities, his work has great documentary value, recording as it does the manners and architecture of the period.

As a young man, Gill, with his good training, was probably responsible for some of the better work produced by the Hubard Gallery, perhaps during the period 1836-39. It is impossible, however, to attribute to him with certainty any of the illustrated examples of the gallery's work. The fact that he began his career in London suggests that the Hubard Gallery may have been based there in the late 1830s.

Another artist associated with the Hubard Gallery was E. G. A. Norman, for Jackson records an example of his work, bearing one of the embossed stamps of the Hubard Gallery in the corner and signed near this stamp with Norman's name. Jackson dates this example to c. 1830, but recent research suggests that these stamps were used later than this. The silhouette, which was full-length, was painted in colour and Chinese white on black paper.

We do not know for how long the Hubard Gallery continued to flourish. The latest silhouettes which can be attributed to the gallery are probably those referred to in a passage (drawn to my attention by Mr W. E. Fox-Smith) in Edmund Vale's The Harveys of Hayle (Truro, 1966). Mr. Vale refers to two lithographs of Henry Harvey, an industrialist, ascribed 'to an artist named Hubard, who visited Hayle in 1845'. Both lithographs were made after silhouettes, one of which (in full-length) appears to have been bronzed. Since Hubard himself was in the United States in 1845, we can assume that the Hubard Gallery visited Cornwall in that year, after which it disappears from our view. This would not have been the first visit of the gallery to Cornwall. Mr Fox-Smith told me that he had seen a silhouette inscribed 'Profile of Johanna Druis taken at Bodmin when she was about 17 years old on Sept. 17th., 1834 at the Hubard Gallery'.

The gallery used a duplicate book (now in the Valentine Museum), compiled in a manner similar to Edouart's folios. The costume of the sitters shown in this book appears to be that of the 1830s in every case, indicating that the references were kept in this particular book after the gallery's return from the United States. Probably earlier records were also kept. The duplicates are identified with names, places, and often dates. Cuttings were made (as were those of Edouart) by folding the black paper double. After one duplicate had been removed from the book some expert sketching was revealed on the grey reverse; no doubt it was used for painting in the detail on the finished profile. There are 627 items, and even those do not represent the entire production of the period, for a previous owner had removed some of the specimens. The total is made up of 352 full-length figures, 131 half-length figures, 127 bust-length profiles and 16 'special items'. (The last term was used, probably to mean genre pieces, by Helen G. McCormack, in The Hubard Gallery Duplicate Book, Antiques, February 1944, from which all the above information about the duplicate book is derived.)

Most of the bust-length silhouettes were arranged on several pages in three rows, some being used to fill in gaps on some of the pages showing full-length examples. In spite of the higher cost of full-length portraits, more of these seem to have been taken. The half-length portraits are about four to five inches in height.

Many of the places visited by the gallery are given. Silhouettes were taken in the Isle of Wight, the Isle of Man, Liverpool, Southampton, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Dunfermline, Montrose, Dundee (in 1843), Ireland and places on the west coast of Wales.

Another handbill, probably one of several used during a stay in Ireland, was quoted by Jackson (The History of Silhouettes). Below the third line a wood block of an early silhouette by Hubard is reproduced. The text reads as follows;

Facing the George Hotel, Galway

Entrance 376, High Street

The Papryotomia of the celebrated Master Hubard

Little John, the Muffin Man.

Collection of accurate Delinations of Flowers, Trees, Perspective Views, Architectural, Military, Sporting Pieces, Family Groups, Portraits of Distinguished Individuals, etc. Elegantly Mounted Pictures and Backgrounds, by W. G. Wall, Esqre., Dublin, together with 7 grand Oriental Paintings of the most celebrated views of North America, taken on the spot by eminent British artists.

Admission I/-

For which money each visitor is to receive a correct Likeness in Bust, cut in 20 seconds, without drawing or machine, by sight alone, and simply with a pair of scissors, by a boy of 14. Those who are averse to sitting for the Likeness are presented with some small specimen of the youthful artist's talents.

Likenesses both in ink and in colours.

Style from 7s. 6d. up, by artists. Frames in Gilt

Visitors are enabled to return to the Gallery by introducing a Stranger.

Open from 10 till Dusk.

Benezit tells us that William Guy Wall (1792- after 1862) was a landscape painter who was born and died in Dublin, but studied in New York. Since he exhibited in Dublin from 1840 onwards, it seems likely that this handbill was issued in the early 1840s. Graves records a Royal Academy exhibit in 1853.

Since, as I have mentioned, a number of artists were employed by the gallery after its return from the United States, no one type of work can be identified. Gill is known to have been in Australia by 7 March 1840; therefore no example which appears from the sitter's costume to have been taken later than 1839 can be attributed to him. Being employed as draughtsman and water-colour artist, he would have been one of the artists who drew in, on the reverse of the paper, the details of clothing and hair to be shown on the finished silhouette. It is uncertain whether he was responsible for any of the bronzing on some of the examples. He certainly painted some of the coloured examples of the gallery's work, and possibly the illustrated profile which is entirely embellished with Chinese white. Norman is also known to have painted in white and water-colour. Both Gill and Norman may have embellished, or painted partly in colour, plain black silhouettes which other employees of the gallery produced by mechanical means.

The only general statements that can be made about the work done by the gallery are that it was all cut, and that (as we know from the duplicate book) more full-length than bust-length examples were taken.

The gallery had at its disposal embossed stamps (seen in the corner of the card bearing the profile), as well as trade labels for the reverse of its frames, and these were freely used. It is probable that there exist far more examples thus marked or labelled than unmarked examples.

The gallery often used maple frames, those used for full-length profiles having gilt surrounds. Characteristic of the gallery are their small maple frames. measuring 63/4 x 53/4 in. These were used for some of the bust- and half-length profiles at a time when many artists favoured rosewood frames of a similar size. The gallery also used small black reeded frames.

Apart from the examples illustrated in this Section, two silhouettes from the Hubard Gallery are illustrated in Chapter Seven and one is illustrated in Chapter Nine. One of the profiles in Chapter Seven

is of a woman, was taken c. 1833-36, bears Trade Label No. 7 and is in a maple frame (61/4 x 53/4 in.) of the type often used by the gallery in the 1830s; the other is of a girl, taken c. 1841-43 (possibly in Scotland, since it was acquired in Edinburgh), and bears Trade Label No. 9.


The silhouette in Chapter Nine of a boy was taken in July 1838, bears Trade Label No. 9 and is in a maple frame (81/2 x 61/2 in.) with gilt surround.


The trade labels of the gallery discussed below cover the approximate period 1829-45.


The chronological order which I have tried to achieve is based mainly on the dress shown on silhouettes which I have seen.

There was a gap of six or seven years between the period when Hubard himself was producing silhouettes for the gallery in England, and the period (1829-49) when other artists were working for the gallery after its return (via Ireland) to England from the United States. The labels discussed in this entry are numbered to follow in sequence those which date from the period when Hubard was working with the gallery, and which are discussed in the entry on him. Four of the labels seem to have been made in two pairs, one label for smaller, and one for larger frames. One pair (Nos 5 and 6) seem to date from c. 1831-32; the other (Nos 9 and 10), from the late 1830s. Although these refer to Hubard and the Silver Palette which he was awarded, they were certainly printed long after Hubard's years with the gallery. Two of the labels (Nos 8 and 11) are stamps which were embossed on the face of the card bearing the profile (or rarely, in the case of No. 11, on the reverse), and were used in conjunction with a trade label on the back of the frame.

Trade Label No. 4 is stencilled and appears, from the costume of the sitters of profiles bearing it, to have been used c. 1829-30. It was therefore presumably in use when the gallery first arrived in England from the United States, but may previously have been used in Canada and the United States.

Trade Label No. 5, apparently used c. 1831-32, reads as follows:

A strikingly correct Likeness, with a Frame and Glass for One Shilling, can invariably be relied on at the HUBARD GALLERY.

The curious and much admired Art of cutting out Likenesses with common Scissors (without drawing, or machine) originated in this Establishment in 1822. MASTER HUBARD was the first youth known to possess the extraordinary talent of delineating Profile Likenesses with Scissors; and his works, consisting of Military, Agricultural,

and other Subjects, are still considered the finest Specimens of Papyrotomic Art.

As the originator of this new and curious Art, MASTER HUBARD was, in 1823, presented with an expensive Silver

Palette, by the Glasgow Philosophical Society, and by that Society the Exhibition was first designated the 'HUBARD GALLERY'.

As the 'Nursery of extraordinary juvenile talent', the Hubard Gallery has since been universally known in all the principal Towns in Great Britain, Ireland, the United States, and the Canadas.

The only surviving example of Trade Label No. 6 known to me is in my own collection. As far as I can judge from its fragmentary state, its text is the same as that of No. 5, but it is printed in italics and on a smaller piece of paper (2 x 27/8 in.). It may have been designed for use on frames smaller than those used

for profiles bearing Trade Label No. 5. It was probably in use c. 1831-32.

Trade Label No. 7 simply shows the stencilled words 'Hubard Gallery'. It appears to have been used c. 1833-36, possibly in conjunction with the stamps (Trade Labels Nos 8 and 10; discussed below) which were often embossed on the card on which the profile is painted.

Trade Label No. 8 is a round stamp, seen on profiles (usually full-length) taken from c. 1835 until the early 1840s. It has sometimes been used in conjunction with printed trade labels in the manner already described.

Trade Label No. 9 was used during the late 1830s, and I have seen a profile, bearing this label, inscribed 'July 1838' in contemporary handwriting. Examples have been seen on white and on jade-green paper. It reads as follows:


An exact Likeness with a Frame & Glass, may invariably be had for ONE SHILLING.

The curious and much admired Art of Cutting out Likenesses with common Scissors, originated in this Establishment, in 1822. MASTER HUBARD was the first youth known to possess the extraordinary talent of delineating Profile Likenesses with Scissors; and his works, consisting of Military, Architectural, and other subjects, are still considered the finest specimens of the Papyrotomic Art.

In 1823, Master Hubard was presented with an expensive Silver Palette, by the Glasgow Philosophical Society, and by that Society his Exhibition was first designated the 'HUBARD GALLERY', & by which name it is now universally known in all the principal Towns in Great Britain, Ireland, the United States, and the Canadas.

Of Trade Label No. 10, as of No. 6, the only example known to me is in my collection, and it is damaged likewise, though less so. Its text appears to be the same as that of No. 9, but its print and format are smaller (it measures 11/2 x 21/4 in.). No doubt it was intended for use on the small black reeded frames favoured by the gallery. It was certainly used during the early 1840s, and perhaps earlier.

Trade Label No. II is a stamp which, like No. 8, was used in conjunction with a printed trade label in the manner already described. No. 11 was sometimes stamped on the front of the card bearing the profile (near to the bottom) and sometimes on the reverse. It was used in the late 1830s and early 1840s. Some of the illustrated examples bear this stamp, and in the National Portrait Gallery there is a full-length profile of a woman (cut from blue paper and heavily embellished with gold) which bears it.

Ills. 211, 220, 256, 489-511

Unknown woman
Silhouette by the Hubard Gallery, cc. 1833-36.


costume dating points
The hair, with centre parting and tight curls about the face.
The sitter is probably wearing a bonnet of the beret shape, with bavolet and chin stays.
The long fine chain probably holds an elegant watch, such as those shown in 215 and 223.
The bodice (probably en gerbe), with fine crossing-over pleats, tucked into the waist-line of the dress at the natural level.
The sleeve, probably the demi-gigot but just possibly the ‘imbecile’.


Author’s collection


Unknown girl
Silhouette by the Hubard Gallery, probably c. 1841-43. Possibly taken in Scotland.


costume dating points
The typical indoor cap of the period: small, far back off the face, with a caul at the back to take the knot, and with the ends left hanging untied.
The pelerine of transparent material, narrower than the style of the 1830s.


Author’s collection


Unknown boy (aged about seven)
Silhouette by the Hubard Gallery, July 1838.


costume dating points
The short hair, parted near the centre and combed slightly forwards, not cut close at the back.
The wide, frilled turn-down collar (to disappear soon after 1840).
The Petersham coat, typical of the 1830s, with large sleeves.
The trousers, apparently decorated with braid at the sides.
The kid boots, with toes and sides made of glace leather.


W. E. Fox-Smith collection


Henry Frampton
Cut silhouette
c. 1829
3¾ x 3in./96 x 77mm.
Trade Label No. 4.


Unknown man
Cut silhouette
c. 1830
3 x 2½in./77 x 64mm.
Trade Label No. 4


The silhouette has been cut down to fit a pocket case.


Unknown woman
Cut silhouette
c. 1831-32
3½ x 2¾in./90 x 70mm.
Trade Label No. 5
Frame: black reeded wood


M. A. H. Christie collection


Unknown man
Cut silhouette, embellished in Chinese white and gold
c. 1831-32
3½ x 2 7/8 in./90 x 74mm.
Trade Label No. 6
Frame: rectangular, reeded black wood


The sitter’s hair is rendered in gold strokes and the cravat is tinted.


Author’s collection


Unknown girl
Cut silhouette
c. 1831-32
3½ x 2 7/8 in./90 x 74mm.
Trade Label No. 6
Frame: black reeded wood


W. E. Fox-Smith collection


Unknown woman
Cut silhouette, pencilled in gold and with other details painted in bluish-white
c. 1832
4 x 3in./102 x 77mm.
Trade Label No. 5
Frame: maple


P. G. Higgs collection


Unknown man
Cut silhouette, bronzed
c. 1833-36
4 x 3in./102 x 77mm.
Trade Label No. 7
Frame: maple


Author’s collection


Dr Hall, of Birmingham
Cut silhouette ?c. 1837
10¾ x 6½in./274 x 165mm.
Trade Label No. 8
Frame: maple


The date is suggested by the sitter’s fashionable half-boots with small heels, worn with pantaloons.


Author’s collection


Unknown man
Cut silhouette
c. 1837-39
9¾ x 6¾in./248 x 172mm.
Trade Label No. 11
Frame: maple, with gilt surround


Probably taken by the artist who cut the silhouette of Dr Hall (496).


Author’s collection


Unknown woman
Cut silhouette, embellished with Chinese white
c. 1838-40
10½ x 6¾in./267 x 172mm.
Trade Labels Nos 8 and 9


Author’s collection


Stansfield Rawson, of Westdale Hall, Cumberland
Cut silhouette
Late 1830s
Trade Label No. 9


Valentine Museum, Richmond, Virginia


Unknown man
Cut silhouette
Late 1830s
10 x 6½in./254 x 165mm.
Trade Label No. 10


Probably taken by the artist who cut the silhouettes shown in 496 (Dr Hall) and 497.


Author’s collection


501, 502
Two double portraits of the members of a family: husband and wife; wife and daughter
Cut silhouettes, with detail in gold and colour
c. 1840-42
Each 10 x 7in./254 x 178mm.
Trade Label No. 8


In the portrait above, the sitters’ hair is shown by gilding, and their clothing in colour (the husband’s waistcoat is crimson; the wife’s dress ochre and her pèlerine white). In the portrait below, the little girl’s dress is painted in Naples yellow.


Elliot Levy collection


Mrs Forbes
Cut silhouette, bronzed
c. 1843-44
Trade Label No. 11


The bronzing, thinly and shakily applied, is of indifferent quality.


From the collection of the late J. C. Woodiwiss


Handbill of the Hubard Gallery, used during the 1830s.


Author’s collection


Broadsheet, printed in Newcastle, found pasted inside the cover of the duplicate book of the Hubard Gallery compiled during the 1830s and 1840s.


Valentine Museum, Richmond, Virginia


Trade Label No. 4 of the Hubard Gallery.


Trade Label No. 5 of the Hubard Gallery.


M. A. H. Christie collection


Trade Label no. 7 of the Hubard Gallery.


Author’s collection


Trade Label No. 8 of the Hubard Gallery.


Author’s collection


Trade Label No. 9 of the Hubard Gallery.


Author’s collection


Trade Label No. 11 of the Hubard Gallery.


Author’s collection