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The Monk, 1860

The Monk
by Ball Hughes, 1860
Images courtesy of the Owner


Inscription, verso:
This Sketch of the Monk
was Burnt with a Poker
Boston, 1860.
BH. fecit
    Exprefsly for Mrs. Clifford

After an 1856 photograph by William Lake Price (1810–1896) 

    This is the fourth Monk that has been discovered. The others are dated 1859, 1865, and 1866 and are available to view in the Hall of Antique Art of the E-Museum of Pyrographic Art at Pyromuse.org:


    Apparently The Monk was another popular subject like Daniel Webster. It's been in the same family from Rhode Island for several generations.

    William Dana Orcutt records in Good Old Dorchester  Cambridge: John Wilson & Son, UP, 1893, pp. 382-383:
"Mr. Hughes manifested his artistic nature in more ways than one. He excelled, among other things, in executing what are known as "poker sketches." These are pictures made on whitewood, the only tools used being pieces of iron, which were heated to a white heat. Every touch of the hot iron leaves a mark which cannot be effaced, and the work is so trying to the nerves that only a short time each day can be devoted to it. The effects of color can only be appreciated when seen. It seems incredible that such artistic results could have been produced in this way. Among the works of this kind, many of which are now in the possession of Mr. Hughes' son-in-law, Mr. Benjamin F. Brown, may be mentioned "The Trumpeter," "The Monk," "Falstaff Examining his Recruits," — embracing a dozen or more figures, —"Rembrandt," "Don Quixote," "Shakespeare," "Rubens," and "The Scotch Terrier."" 

last update 9/11/2012
For noncommercial use, Copyright David E. Brown 2008-2012