Harold and Winnie with their nanny in Calcutta

A note on the back of this studio portrait says either “Harold Winnie” or “Harold & Winnie.”  While Winnie could be a last name, it’s more likely the first name of the girl on the left, who must be Harold’s sister.

Harold and Winnie with nanny in Calcutta 3

The studio is identified on the mat just below the image: Gordon & Blees.  J.H. Gordon took over the studio owned by John Blees and his wife sometime around 1914, and may have been in partnership with them prior to that.  John Blees is best known for his 1877 book Photography in Hindostan; or reminiscences of a travelling photographer.

Harold and Winnie with nanny in Calcutta 2

Here’s an ad from a 1920 publication called International Trade Developer (Vol. 17, p. 401):

1920 International Trade Developer Vol. 17 p. 401


5 thoughts on “Harold and Winnie with their nanny in Calcutta

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  1. They are all in their Sunday best, including the nanny. I love her elaborate nose piece. She also appears to have numerous ear piercings or perhaps just more elaborate jewellery? It is hard to tell from the scan. A very interesting photo!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I wish we could find out what became of little Harold and pretty Winnie. I spent some time looking through census records for Calcutta, but there were far too many Harolds and Winifreds to have any hope of finding the right ones. Isn’t their nanny lovely?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Harold looks like he needs to have a nap! 🙂

    It will be Gordon and Blees, not ‘of’ because there is already a letter ‘d’ in Gordon and it’s very different from the letter in the second word!

    There was a famous photographer in India called ‘John Blees’, maybe this photographer was a relative? I gather his wife took over from him. There’s quite a bit online about him.

    Liked by 2 people

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