Hidden away at the corner of a throw-away old photo is a haunting image that transcends time and place. The child looks on and, in turn, we look on, whilst the supposed subjects look at us.
Where I got this old photograph of the staff of the Manchester Hotel in Bournemouth at their Staff Ball on the 1st January 1921, I have no idea. But what a picture it is, what a story it has to tell.
Photo trouvée : noun – an image found by an artist and displayed with no, or minimal, alteration as a work of art. I’m no artist, but I could put together a pretty good case to suggest that this is a work of art. In the best traditions of “objet trouvée“, I found it amongst a pile of old and forgotten […]
Smiles – smiles on photos, at least – were a twentieth century invention: smiles on the faces of the subjects of Victorian photographic portraits are as rare as Trumpian truths. The reason was partly that Victorian cameras could only cope with fixed expressions – but it was also partly that they tended to be a miserable lot. By the 1920s […]
A photograph of unknown origins, subject and date – a true “Picture From Nowhere“. Two men in suits, just the hint of a bottle, a radio of certain antiquity, and a map of Latvia pinned to the wall. What in earth is the back story?
I am not sure where this little print came from – no doubt it was part of some job lot of old photographs I bought. It shows the crowded deck of a boat, and must have been taken at some point in the 1920s. It could be a ferry, but the people seem a little too well-dressed to be crossing […]
This photograph comes from a collection of old photos bought as a job lot on eBay for less than the price of a pint. I am a great fan of the novel “Sweet Caress” by William Boyd, and as soon as I saw this photograph I thought of Amory Clay, the heroine of that fine book. Boyd himself is an […]
This is an old, real photographic postcard that must date from the first part of the twentieth century, and is full of questions. I can not be certain about the date, the place, the sport or the team. There are eleven players so I am immediately drawn to a football team (soccer team). The only real clue is a name […]
If there is one thing you would have needed in 1919, it is a bit of a tonic. The memories of the carnage on the fields of Flanders are still raw, and the influenza epidemic is now picking off many of the people who survived. So this old photographic postcard from exactly 100 years ago seems most appropriate. Someone has […]