Eminent Victorians

I am not sure if I was attracted to this little Victorian portrait by the look in the eye of the sitter or because in was taken in the studios of Sydney Barton in New Brighton. I remember New Brighton well from childhood seaside trips (the name "New Brighton" was a triumph for positively-spun nomenclature … Continue reading Eminent Victorians

Two Gentlemen Of Brighouse

If Shakespeare had been around in the days of Brexit, he might have written a play called Two Gentlemen Of Brighouse, in which two friends, Herbert and Wilfred, travelled to Bradford in pursuit of the same girl, Ethel. This lovely little Victorian photo from the studio of the Brighouse photographer, Martin Manley, would have made a perfect … Continue reading Two Gentlemen Of Brighouse

Fancy Goods And Photographs

In Search Of Edward Gregson Part 2 My research into the life and times of Edward Gregson, photographer, of Halifax and Blackpool is both illogical and unstructured: flitting between odd facts and unrelated times, and punctuated by portraits of anonymous Victorian worthies. It is a journey of discovery in which gazing out of the window … Continue reading Fancy Goods And Photographs

Stone Antiquities And Tree Trunk Props

This little Victorian Carte de Visite dates from a time when photographs were for special occasions, rather than the result of a selfie-click on a smartphone. Young men or women would have their photographs taken on birthdays and holidays, wearing their very best clothes, and posing against a background of stone antiquities and tree-trunk props (the props … Continue reading Stone Antiquities And Tree Trunk Props

Saving Souls

Like some latter-day Victorian parson, I occasionally think I am in the business of saving souls. Many of the nineteenth century studio portraits that come into my possession are showing their age: spots of mould eat into the very soul of the image. A little careful renovation makes them fit for another century or two. … Continue reading Saving Souls

What More Can Be Said?

There is something very distinctive about this Victorian lady, who was photographed by Dupont's studio in Brussels in 1893. There is a signature on the reverse, but it is indecipherable. It also says the word "Eindhoven" which I assume was where she was from.  The Dupont family had been leading photographers in the Belgian capital … Continue reading What More Can Be Said?

Howard & Louise Bantes

This is a nineteenth century photograph (but only just) from the studio of Borman and Johnson of Main Street, Danbury in Connecticut. Before Norman and Johnson took over, the studio belonged to a certain Mr Blackman. On the reverse, the names of the two children are listed as A Howard Bantes, age 12; and Louise … Continue reading Howard & Louise Bantes

Give Them One For Christmas

F J Garrison's Photographic Studio in Doncaster used to have a slogan: "They've often asked you for your portrait - give them one for Christmas". This young man gave them one, and it's lasted well over 100 years. Not many smartphone selfies will last that long! Unknown Man From Doncaster : Victorian Cabinet Card F.J. … Continue reading Give Them One For Christmas