A book which still reverberates

I found this cabinet card portrait for sale on eBay in England (Northamptonshire) in January of this year.  Books are common props in 19th-century studio portraits, but titles are usually too blurry to read, even after scanning them at high resolution.  In this case, the book is large enough that the title is easily readable... Continue Reading →

A regal party

This large-format photograph came to me from the United Kingdom.  Unfortunately, it has nothing written on it and I haven't identified anyone in it.  Hanging high on the wall is a shield with a crown on it.  Would the crown indicate a royal household?  I've brightened it below to make it a little easier to... Continue Reading →

Ready for the call?

In the first comment under the previous post, Shayne Davidson said the nurses' uniforms reminded her of the BBC series Call the Midwife.  Her comment made me look anew at the photo above, which also came from the United Kingdom, and wonder if the young sitter might have been preparing to work as a midwife or... Continue Reading →

King Lear and Cordelia?

When I saw this cabinet card from the United Kingdom, I immediately assumed it must have come from a Victorian production of Shakespeare's King Lear.  The tragic play revolves around the relationship between the king and his youngest daughter, Cordelia.  I spent some time looking for images of historical productions of the play, but found... Continue Reading →

Love in silhouette

This carte-de-visite came to me from England (Northamptonshire), but it has nothing written on it to identify the sitter or photographer.  The photo (print) was cut into an oval shape and glued onto a paper mount with an oval frame design already printed on it.  Such cartes were generally made after someone had died, as... Continue Reading →

The sisters

This cabinet card came to me from Bath, England, but it has nothing written on it to give us a clue as to its origins.  Two women stand protectively behind a third, who is seated in a wheelchair.  The three resemble each other so closely that they must be sisters.  Posed in a triangle, they... Continue Reading →

Four young women with Union Jack

These college-age women have a determined air about them, as if they're on a mission.  They've arranged themselves around a pedestal with a Union Jack flag draped over it, adding a patriotic aspect to the portrait and perhaps suggesting political activism.  Were they participants in the women's suffrage movement?  What does the ribbon on the... Continue Reading →

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