Friday, June 17, 2016

Old Photos

One of the nice things about being in holiday is being able to quietly ignore what's going on in the rest of the world for a while. more especially because at the moment it all seems do unrelentingly grim. Without being ignorant it feels good to be sifting through old photographs rather than a newspaper (or similar) when it's time for a cup of tea - so that's what I've been doing.

I wanted to see if I could find a likely candidate to be the lady in my little oil painting, I think I might have, without gaining any idea of who she actually was but just generally I really love this series of pictures. There were once more (with even more elaborate/camp outfits) but we're not sure where they are now. The ones I have found are perhaps enough to be going on with. The earliest must date from around the late 1880's and they go up to 1913. Back then the family obviously had enough money to be able to entertain themselves by dressing up in elaborate costumes, taking pictures of each other, and spending long summers messing around in Shetland (all sounds heavenly). This, it seems, is what people did when they made their own entertainment.

 This one looks early, it was certainly taken on a glass plate, and will have been an outfit my great great uncle bought back from trips to Japan. She could be my lady.
 This one is dated 1913 on the back

This one is from at least the 1890's and again I'm inclined to think the seated figure could be my lady.

 Francis Swithin Anderton was the painter and not a man to mind a bit of fancy dress.

Sadly damaged, but this pose is pure Georgette Heyer, though long before Heyer was around, it's also my favourite.

This one is also early and makes being Victorian like more fun than usual.

 Sensible family pose just pre war. Elegant, but not fun.

 Just in case you hadn't realised he was an artist...
 Or liked dressing up.


  1. The pictures certainly tell a story. We've certainly come a long way! Regards, Mark.

    1. Apparently as photography became more accessible there was quite a vogue for dressing up like this. It looks like they were having so much fun and I love that more than a century later I can see that - and see that the Victorians weren't always stuffy sticklers for proper behaviour.

  2. I hope that you do find your lady. Old pictures like yours are fascinating.

  3. I love them, these really bring those people back to life. The only memories people have if any of them are as old people, and then only of the woman dresses as a fairy/shepardess - she was known as a bit of a dragon, so it's good to see this different side of her.