For sale is an original early 1900’s or late 1800s OVAL WOOD FRAMED PORTRAIT of a stern GENTLEMAN with his impressive sideburns. Wood frame measures about 15 1/2 inches in length by 12 3/4 inches wide. Frame has surface nicks and wear consistent with age. This portrait appears to be a Victorian era hand drawn image from a photograph.
In the early days of photography, artists would use a photograph and tracing paper to rough out the drawing in two-dimensional format. By this method they only have to spend a little time in the field or with a live subject to get the general proportions. Then they can return to the studio to finish. This enabled a more realistic drawing that would also last much longer then early photographs that significantly faded over time.
The term sideburns is a 19th-century corruption of the original burnsides, named after American Civil War general Ambrose Burnside, a man known for his unusual facial hairstyle that connected thick sideburns. Nineteenth-century sideburns were often far more extravagant than those seen today, similar to what are now called mutton chops. As with beards, sideburns went quickly out of fashion in the early twentieth century. In World War I, in order to secure a seal on a gas mask, men had to be clean-shaven. In 1936, President Roosevelt briefly experimented with sideburns on a yachting cruise, provoking laughter from wife Eleanor. Sideburns made a comeback in the mid-1950s, when Marlon Brando’s sideburns identified him as The Wild One (1953). Elvis Presley inspired “hoods”, “greasers”, and “rockers” to wear sideburns as an emblem of rebellious post-pubescent manliness by young men who shunned the “Ivy League” look.