This charming pair of expertly scissor cut, detailed silhouettes was done by John Van Bibber (more about him below) in 1936. They depict a girl and boy, presumably brother and sister, cut out from light tan paper (lighter in color--much less orange--than our photographs), then placed against a background of black paper, a technique called hollow cut. The tan paper cutout piece was occasionally kept and framed, also.
The children each have contrasting collars and tiny eyelashes, with the girl having a ribbon at her neck, tied in a bow. The narrow black painted wood frames are original; each has a brass hanger with an embossed design. The framed size is 6 1/2 inches tall and 4 1/2 inches wide; the brass hanger adds another 3/4 inch in height. They weigh a mere 10 ounces each and are both in excellent condition, including frames and glass. John Van Bibber's stamp, which includes the year date 1936, is on each, providing valuable documentation.
John Van Bibber (1904-2001) was born in Dixon, Illinois. He traveled the country, cutting silhouettes at various venues such as Hislop's Department Store in Auburn, New York, in 1937. From Hislop's advertisement in The Citizen-Advertiser newspaper there:
Special This Week! SILHOUETTE PORTRAITS By John Van Bibber, Scissor Artist A splendid likeness of your own profile or your child's, cut in three minutes by a silhouette artist of national reputation. These Van Bibber silhouettes are suitable for framing and are works of art of which you can be truly proud. 2 for 75 cents
This was a common practice for "scissor artists" to set up in different towns and cities across America to reach wider audiences for their art. Parents in particular loved to have artwork of their children to display in their homes. Fortunately, this pair has survived for 83 years, framed and ready to decorate your home.