You will see from the other side that Mother is keeping better. I sent a p.c. on Saturday week and mentioned having a bedding to dispose of, you have not said anything yet. We want to know as we want it out of the way before we finish the cleaning. It is better than the last. Mother says if you have an old one you could get rid of it.
Category Archives: Pictures From Nowhere
There is a short caption on the reverse of this small print, and it suggests that the photograph was taken in Ramsgate in July 1934. I am no expert on women’s fashion, but the 1934 date seems about right for this somewhat distinctive dress. Just looking at the heads on show and I might have thought that it dated from the previous decade: all those round hats and tightly bobbed hair. Some hair styles never seem to come back into fashion – thank goodness!
On the reverse of this Victorian Cabinet Card is written the following: “My Grandmother (Susanna), Dad in black velvet suit, Uncle Dewi next, Uncle Arthur on his Mother’s left, Uncle Tom leaning against her”. As so often with these Victorian studio cards, I have no idea who all these people are, and there is something rather sad about the fact that the photograph is in my collection rather than gracing the mantelpiece of one of Susanna’s relatives. The photograph comes from the studio of A. W. Sargent of Cardiff. If there is anyone out there who wants to claim these people as their own, just get in touch and I will be happy to re-unite them with their family.
This is a wonderful old photograph, which, like so many wonderful old photographs, is of unknown people, in unknown places, at an unknown time. There is no need to have the genealogical satisfaction of knowing that Auntie Winnie is the one on the left, or Mabel Cuddlington is the one on the right: the image can be appreciated in its own right and as a slice of history. And what a slice it is: doorstep-thick and dripping with best butter. Were these four ladies just passing and keen to avail themselves of a photo opportunity, or was it their bike? We will never know.
I can find no record of any Victorian photographer called “A. Lowe” who was based in Melton – indeed I am not even sure where Melton is, unless it is a shortened form of Melton Mowbray. On the reverse of this little Carte De Visite is written, “E.M. 17 Yrs 1900”. As with all such old photographs of unknown subjects, one is left with the question – what happened to her, what life lay ahead?
On the back of this print is written “Our Houseboat, August 1946“. There is also a location which looks like “Kashirit“. The boat is called the “New Ty Phoon” – the location is probably the Indian sub-continent shortly before independence and partition.
A thing of beauty can be found in the most unlikely places. This tiny old print was found sticking to the side of an envelope that must have contained a collection of photographs of more supposed interest. It was lost and forgotten for all the reasons such tiny works of photographic art are lost and forgotten: it didn’t show Auntie Beth or Uncle Sam, it was a bit too black and white, and it wasn’t pretty. It is, however, a gem of both social and photographic imagery: packed full of movement and interesting shapes. At a guess it must date from the mid to late 1920s, and I suspect it was taken somewhere in London.
Throughout the photograph, people have been captured in mid motion; frozen in time as only photography can do. The lack of detail merely accentuates this, making it the movement that is important rather than personal details. I have no idea of was responsible for the original photograph, who printed it, who discarded it, who lost it. They created, however, a little masterpiece which I am happy to share with the rest of the world.