Dublin girls will break your heart

I completely made up the title of this post, so it probably isn’t true at all, but it sounds like something you’d hear in an Irish ballad.

This cabinet card portrait was made at the Lafayette studio in Dublin, founded by James Lafayette and his three brothers in 1880.  Advertising on the back lists medals won up to 1887, so the photo was probably taken shortly after that.  The studio is still in operation today.

Dublin girls by Lafayette 3

Dublin girls by Lafayette 2


That’s it for this year (my first full year of blogging).  It was really fun, and I have many more photos to share with you next year.  Thanks for reading, everyone!  See you in 2019!



45 thoughts on “Dublin girls will break your heart

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      1. Thanks so much, Liz! It does take time. I’ve settled into a comfortable rhythm of one post per week, but if I can’t sustain that, I’ll just post less often. I’ve really been prioritizing blogging (along with reading other blogs) for the past year and a half.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Is it weird that I find them handsome, especially the one on the left? And it’s cool that the studio is still in operation today, such a long history. On a separate topic, it reminds me that there are studios where you can take photos and they’ll make it look historical. I guess people could probably tell that it’s just an enactment especially someone with a trained eye like you, but if you ever thought of changing your profile picture, it’s something you can consider 😝

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s a great suggestion for a profile photo! I need to re-do my About page. I’ve only tweaked it once in a year and a half. I wanted it to be impersonal, but I no longer think that’s a good thing. Readers like to know something about the person they’re interacting with. Not a photo necessarily, but something personal. It makes the experience more meaningful. When I started this, I didn’t realize how interactive blogging can be! I had only seen a few blogs, and they didn’t have many comments. Now I know that comments make blogging a lot more rewarding.

      About the girls being handsome, do you mean attractive in a masculine sort of way? Short hair was relatively uncommon in the 1800s, but it wasn’t unheard-of. Certainly their dresses are very feminine. I wonder if short hair was the style of the time in Dublin, or if their choice was unusual.

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  2. Another nice photo, Brad, congratulations on your full calendar year!

    I like the composition of this one, the way each is looking slightly away, as if unaware they are being looked at. I also like the window-cutout prop they are posed next to. It looks as if they were in a garden full of ruins, with ivy winding its way up the remaining supports, and across the low wall the girl on the right sits on.

    As for short versus long hair, I think the jury is out. The one on the right looks very pomaded and could be hiding a bun, and the one on the left’s hair looks very full as if bunched behind her head.

    Their age and relationship is a mystery to me. I would guess early twenties, sisters or good friends. The one on the left appears more gentle and demure and the one on the right more severe, but i expect the serious expressions you often see in these old photos were easier to maintain unflinchingly. Still, they seem to often hide the most attractive features of these poor victims of prolonged sittings. But at least they do not hide her beautiful hands and her rings, which may or may not indicate her marital status. 😊

    Finally my first reaction to this photo was “Ouch!” Those corsets look tight! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Terrific analysis, Andrea! I wasn’t sure about their hair, so it’s very helpful to hear your impressions. (“Pomaded” isn’t a word one hears often, but it seems appropriate.) The gal on the left looks a little older to me, and she seems more relaxed. There may even be a hint of a smile. I find it curious that the gal on the right isn’t looking at the camera. I love the faux window prop and ivy, but she may have thought it a bit much!

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  3. I think their relatively severe expressions might be due to those tight corsets. I can imagine both of them thinking, “How long will it be until I can get out of this thing?” Neither looks particularly pleased with the photographer.

    Happy New Year to you, and congrats on your new milestone. I’m certainly looking forward to enjoying your posts in 2019.

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      1. Actually, it’s truncated German. The story I’m told is that when the early Leinens migrated from Germany, they were actually named Leinenkugel, but dropped part of the name to seem more American. Leinenkugel still is well-known in the upper midwest, thanks to the brewery that bears the name. I highly recommend their summer shandies.

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      2. I’ve had Leinenkugel summer shandies and they’re very good! Germany was my second guess for your name. A German name in my family tree which I know nothing about is Lindenbolt. If you wanted to make an alias by combining your first and last names, it could be “Linden.” 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww, that’s great that the birds found the tray. They don’t miss much! And it’s probably just as well that you didn’t end up with another pup (heh heh). I’m very glad to have found amhs, and sorry not to have done so sooner. Have a wonderful New Year!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great photo and I agree with others about the corsets… the one on the right makes me think she’s got to have stopped breathing for the duration of the photo!

    Congrats on your first year of blogging. It does pass by quite quickly. I forgot to celebrate my blog’s first year and in the spring it’ll be two years, so… maybe I’ll do something then.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha, no – definitely not my first rodeo! 😉 And I’ve another blog planned (not the one I was going to do, either.) I hope to open that in the next few weeks.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s so nice of you, thank you! When I started, I hadn’t seen many other blogs yet, so I was mostly winging it. (I have some background in art history, which helped.) Since then I’ve seen many amazing blogs–including yours–which inspire me to think about making changes. I’m happy with it for now, though. Happy 2019 to you, too!

      Liked by 2 people

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