Recently I decided to hang up this darling antique silhouette of children watching a puppet show. I remember it on the wall when I was growing up. The figures are faded now and curling slightly off background paper, but it is delightful nonetheless.
Called Scherenschnitte in German, which means "scissor cuts," silhouettes are featureless images in solid shapes, cut from paper, usually black, and are placed on a lighter background for contrast.
They used to be called cutting portraits and require quite a steady hand, as well as a love for the intricate.
Traditionally they were black on white, but may be done in any contrasting colors.
Silhouettes are also done in various mediums, like this crosstitch stocking.
It is difficult to find authentic handmade portraits to purchase. Most modern ones are done digitally, or are rubber stamps.
Here is a modern one that is authentic and rather magical.