The name “L.C. Pike” is written on the back of this carte-de-visite. Generally a name on the back of a portrait refers to the sitter, but not always, so it’s important to try to find corroborating information. I searched on Ancestry for an L.C. Pike who was about forty years old in the early 1860s and living in Cork, Ireland. Only one came up, so I’m optimistic she may be the right person.
Lydia Clibborn Pike was born into a Quaker family in September 1821 in historic County Tyrone, in what is today Northern Ireland. She married Ebenezer Pike (not a close relation) in Cork when she was nineteen years old and he was almost 35. They were married 42 years, until his death in 1883. They had at least eight children who survived to adulthood. She died at the age of 88, in March 1900, in Bessborough, County Cork.
The photograph was taken at the studio of Edward J. Harding & Son, Portrait Painters & Photographists. The senior Harding was almost certainly the same Edward J. Harding (1804-1870) listed as “Portrait Painter” in A Dictionary of Irish Artists (1913).
This is my first blog post featuring a portrait from Ireland. After more than a year, the blog has yet to receive a visitor from the Emerald Isle. I do hope Lydia Clibborn will change that.
Update on June 5: I’ve zoomed in on the flower and fern, below. I hadn’t noticed the fern until it was pointed out by astute visitors yesterday!
I also zoomed in as far as possible on the ring hanging at the end of the chain. There does appear to be something else attached to the ring … maybe a key?
Finally, I’m pleased to report that the blog received its first visitor from Ireland (Éire) yesterday, after this post was published.