Antique bust silhouettes: Before photography, artists created portraits like these

Antique bust silhouettes - Old portraits of women

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Before the advent of photography, there were a limited number of ways to produce accurate likenesses of people.

As an alternative to paintings, drawings and sculptures, silhouettes like these — hand-cut from paper — were a relatively affordable way to remember loved ones.

The bust silhouettes below, created by artist Charles Willson Peale between 1760 and 1827, were cut from the middle of white paper, and mounted on a black background.

None of the women who were the subjects of these antique portraits have been identified.

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Antique bust silhouettes - Vintage portraits cut from black paper (4)

Antique bust silhouettes - Vintage portraits cut from black paper (3)

Antique bust silhouettes - Vintage portraits cut from black paper (5)

Antique bust silhouettes - Vintage portraits cut from black paper (2)

Antique bust silhouettes - Vintage portraits cut from black paper (6)

Antique bust silhouettes - Vintage portraits cut from black paper (7)

Antique bust silhouettes - Vintage portraits cut from black paper (8)

Antique bust silhouettes - Vintage portraits cut from black paper (1)

SEE MORE HERE: See 11 amazing hand-cut paper silhouette scenes from the 1920s

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