Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Faces from the Past: My Collection

I collect old photographs. CDVs, tintypes, ambrotypes...whatever they may be, I love them all! I mainly collect them for their fashion significance, but I also like to ponder the faces, and think up names and stories for the poor unknown things.....

{Heald & Bro., PHOTOGRAPHISTS, Lynn, Mass.}
Bought off Ebay for 4.00
c. 1860s
Name: Margaret
Things to notice: shortended skirt length for a teenage girl, almost invisible hairnet, straw hat, little white ruffled collar peeking out above jacket,

Why  are there two buttons undone on the jacket?? Is that significant, or just a random mistake??
The trim used on the jacket is quite pretty and graphic, a series of 'dots' between solid lines. 

{Finsihed March, 14. 89, Frey's Studio}
This lovely 1880s wedding photograph I bough for $1.00 at an estate sale. The amazing thing was - I bought it from the descendants of the couple in the picture! They sold a picture of their known ancestors for a dollar! Very strange...

....but I'm glad to have it anyway. I think she shall be called Elinor.
Don't ask me what his name is. I couldn't think of one that seemed suitable. 

The bride's dress is so beautifully intricate. I wish the white wasn't so bright so more details would be visible. Notice how small her waist is! I wonder what type of flower blossoms are decorating her headpiece and collar? Weren't orange blossoms supposed to be popular?

I think the hem of the skirt may be trimmed with self-fabric pleating or fluting. There also seems to be some type of sash or train panels going from waist to hem at the back of the skirt.
She looks so sweet and content. I wonder if she was happy in her marriage?

These next two are my most recent aquistions. $1.00/peice at Canton trade days.

Mid 1860s.
This looks like a rather wealthy young lady, don't you think? Her name is Mildred. She sports and elaborate braided hairstyle, metal bracelet and ring, cameo earrings, a ribbon choker, large buttons, and a prominent silk bow-tie. Lots of detail!

There is the tiniest bit of rosy coloring on her cheeks. I love how clear and bright her eyes are.

I didn't have to make up a name for this sweet girl - her name is Ella. Penciled on the back in a very elegant hand is {Compliments of Ella K. Young}

So tiny - the photo is only about the size of a penny.
Again - lots of fashion detail. Bold, striped bowtie and pin, lace collar, uniquely pleated self-fabric bodice trim, dangle teardrop earrings, and some type of studded headband. She also has rosy tinted cheeks, but it's not visible unless looking at the original.

{Photographisches Atelier, von Otto Muecke, OELS}
This is Lucy - first of my collection. She came all the way from Germany.

I love her sweet little baby face, surrounded by hair pulled back too tight and enormous ribbons!
Either there is lots of tucks, or the fabric has some type of faint stripe pattern. I love the latice-like trim, and the darling little shoes topped by sagging stockings. Such a serious little one, she is!

She wishes she could go play outside, but she mustn't. Her strict aunt (the same one that pulled her hair too tight) says she will dirty her new dress.

Which is your favorite? Do any of them tell a story to you?


Abby said...

Oh! I love looking at old photos... it's almost mysterious. Aww! That little girl is so cute! She's my favorite.

Abby :D

Rebecca Jane said...

cool idea! I love your newest ones. do you mind if I copy your awesome idea on my blog? I've got many a curious face ;)

Stephanie Ann said...

I do like the coat in the to CDV. I wonder why the buttons are undone-you see gentlemen who unbutton some buttons where the coat is clearly too small but she looks like she has ample room in it.

Do you ever find Southern CDVs? We barely ever find them up here in PA. I was wondering if they were a little more common in TX. I know very few Southerners could afford them during the war.

I'm just so much more interested to see some "blockade" dresses and such.

The Dreamstress said...

Lucy is adorable! And her clothes are gorgeous! Her skirt definitely has a grow tuck just above the hem - it looks like it is an inch deep. Can you tell if her shoes are front laced, or side laced?

I think Elinor is marrying Alfred. He looks like an Alfred.

Her flowers seem to be orange blossoms and lily of the valley, both hugely popular for weddings throughout the 19th century. Her dress looks very, very similar to the 1887-89 day dress in Janet Arnold's patterns of fashion. Same pleated skirt, suggestion of an apron-front.

Thanks for sharing, I love these!

Atlanta said...

Rebecca - of course! I know you have so many lovely ones!

Stephanie - I hardly ever find Southern CDVs either. :^( The only 1860s southern pictures in my possesion are those of my own family. I'll have to post those later! :^)

Dreamstress - you are so right! He IS an Alfred. Thanks for discovering his name!

And thanks for the info on the dress - 1880s is not my area of expertise, so I do appreciate it! :^)

Lucy's shoes must be sidelaces. I just looked at the CDV again and i can't discern any lacing at the front.

Riah said...

I agree with The Dreamstress, he looks like either an Alfred or a Charles.

Sarah said...

Oh, I loved looking at them!! I love the names. I have a hard time coming up with names, so no help here!!
The one named Ella looks almost sad, like she has lost something in life. Something happened to her that left an imprint in her life that has put a rather sad, quiet, and knowing look on her face. :)

Thanks for sharing!! I love seeing orginals like this...

Love ya!! Sarah

Rowenna said...

I love the pictures--thanks for sharing! I have a ton of family photographs from the 1870s through the 1950s and I love looking at them. I can't imaging selling them! but I suppose some people aren't nostalgic about that sort of thing.

I love Elinor and...well, he certainly is a solid, good-natured looking fellow, isn't he? Alfred definitely works. I imagine she was happy--I bet he would do anything to make her happy (he's so good-natured) and she's the sort to be happy anywhere.

I love the picture of Ella, too--she looks smart as a whip! Quiet, but always thinking :)

Rachel and Sarah said...

Ella looks to me like I want to say something to make her smile. There is an latent smile on her lips that needs to be brought to the surface... look at her...can't you see yourself catching her eye and sharing a quick, shy smile? :) ~Rachel

Amelia said...

I LOVE collecting photography. Especially if there is something unique about it such as the person is holding a book etc. I actually have one of a man holding a huge portrait from the 1880s. Although I'm hesitant now about getting them from ebay. I bought one with a mother with adorable twin babies from the mid 1800s but the person didn't put tracking on it and it was lost in the mail :( . It appears that you have a wonderful collection! Thanks for sharing!


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