Verre Eglomise Silhouette
Polk may have learned the verre-eglomise process while living in Baltimore as the process was used by some Baltimore cabinetmakers to enhance furniture. However, the only know advertisement for the profiles appeared in the RICHMOND ENQUIRER on June 3, 1806:
A New and Elegant Style of taking PROFILE LIKENESSES, Engraved in Gold [in italics], and framed for 3 dollars each. Specimens may be seen at the Eagle Tavern, by applying to C.P. POLK, who has just arrived in this city, and respectfully offers his professional services to the public.
The exact identity of the sitter for this profile has been lost, but he may have been a Virginian. According to Linda Crocker Simmons, the provenance of the painting links it with a Tennesee family with ancestral ties to Virginia.