Tag Archives: England

De’Ath & Condon vignette portrait

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Alaric Hawkins De’Ath operated a studio portrait at 32 Bank Street, Ashford (England), and from 1913 on partnered with Arthur James Condon. He passed in 1931. They may have taken this small vignette portrait during the Great War or after, and the sitter isn’t too shabby, is he? There is no name to aid IDing this fine English gent. We only hope he came out of those troubled years relatively unscathed.

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A love poem: ‘Dearie’

'Dearie' postcard. Private Collection.

1907 Bamforth & Co. ‘Dearie’ postcard. Private Collection.

A nice love poem on a beautiful postcard from 1907. The backdrop is worth mentioning too. It looks like a swamp with the tree roots in the water and the far off wood cabin, but it feels surreal too with the mountains in the background.

A close up to better appreciate this wonderful picture in all its details:

Close up of Dearie postcard.

Close up of Dearie postcard.

Publisher: Bamforth & Co. West Yorkshire. England.

Bamforth & Co. not only published postcards but were filmmakers too. Their silent films were so successful they created a whole industry in West Yorkshire that surpassed the Hollywood of the time.

The backdrop of this postcard is so detailed I have difficulties believing it was only used for this postcard. It would be interesting to find out if it was used in an early silent.

In 2001 a businessman named Ian Wallace bought the name and rights to all 50,000+ pictures of the then defunct company’s catalog. In 2011 he relaunched the reprints of their postcards through licensing.

Source: Bamforth & Co. wiki


That American Banjo Player

Banjo player and friend. CDV. Private Collection.

Banjo player and friend. CDV. Private Collection.

This CDV is cut all around, and there is no photographer info. A shame but the seller is based in England and he did say he got this one locally. There is no way to know the exact provenance of this photograph, but chances are the banjo player was an American musician visiting England. Notice his mismatched suit – very New World. Maybe he was posing with his British friend who would not dress so casually!

They have boutonniere flowers on the lapels. This was taken at a formal event sometime in the 1890s or 1900s, maybe at a wedding.


C. Stan, the WWI era British army cadet

Photograph in tintype frame. Private Collection.

Circa 1910 British army cadet. RPPC in tintype case. Private Collection.

This circa 1910 British cadet who can’t be more than 12-13, is proudly posing in his green wool uniform with peaked cap and sword by the side.

I find this photograph quite beautiful yet sad and haunting. This boy went on to fight in the First World War at a very young age, of this there’s no doubt.

I also find interesting that his paper picture was framed in a tintype case.

So I asked myself, “is there a name or note hidden to the back of the picture?” I opened it.

Well, it wasn’t all for nothing (I think I would have kicked myself if I found nothing but something told me). It did reveal a note, the partial name of the boy and that this is a RPPC with the divided back, which dates the picture to around 1907-1914; it fits the era of the uniform.

I think his surname was either Stan or Stanley, and his given name most likely Carl or Charles.

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From C. Stan to Dick.

Of course I put the case back together and wrote the name in pencil on the outside.

Those cases are fragile but this one had already been meddled with by someone who removed a tintype and replaced it with this RPPC, so I took a chance. I can imagine a family member lovingly doing this or the boy himself to give as a keepsake.

One million British soldiers and allies died during World War I. I set to research some for a match and got sidetracked reading the many individual stories of those who fell. I won’t lie, as an army wife it was particularly emotionally exhaustive, and a partial name isn’t enough to come to a definite conclusion, but I tried. I did find two soldiers by the shared name of Charles Stanley who died in 1917 and 1918 at the same age (19). No one by the name Stan Carl or Charles died during the war is all I can say for sure.

(On Netflix in the U.S you can catch Our World War, a three part BBC docu-series of particularly powerful individual stories of British soldiers who experienced those truly horrible years. If you can get past the choice of music for the soundtrack I highly recommend it. The husband says it is to relate to younger audiences.)


Mr. Dreamy Eyes with the bowtie

Cabinet card. Private Collection.

1890s-1900s Cabinet card. Private Collection.

The photographer set the camera at a low angle which is highly unusual, but it paid off and the portrait is gorgeous. This gentleman has very beautiful eyes drawing the viewer in. Loving the fat bowtie too.

Alas, no name or photographer logo…This one came from a dealer based in East Sussex, England. This fine sitter was most certainly British.

Plain dark green card with gold bevelled edges.

Plain dark green card with gold bevelled edges and plain back.

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Rupert Brooke

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Rupert (right) with brother Alfred and pet Rugby (after the city he was born at). 1900.

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Rupert, his mother and brother Alfred in costumes.1898.

This was a long time coming. I have a great appreciation for the poet Rupert Brooke, and these pictures of him as a boy are not often seen. They were scanned from a book I own, ‘The Letters of Rupert Brooke and Noel Olivier’, edited by Pippa Harris.

His life was short and full of ideals, and charmed for the most part. He was also sort of a selfish person who grew up with the proverbial ‘silver spoon’ in his mouth, with many men and women in his love life. But he was free-spirited too, going to America, then to Oahu (where I lived too- love his Waikiki poem) and off to Tahiti where he met the woman, Taatamata, who is thought to have given birth to his daughter.

He died in 1915 at 27, exactly a hundred years ago, of a mosquito bite that brought on scepsis while on duty on a ship. He is interred on Skyros, a Greek island, and his patriotic poem ‘The Soldier’ was used as propaganda during the first World War.
Was Rupert a man of many internal struggles? Most definitely, yet he had an immense talent with words.

In the pages of the book I have, I found an old newspaper article tucked in. Apparently, the grandmother of actress Helena Bonham Carter (who I must say I absolutely love) was very much in love with him. It was unrequited, but they kept a long exchange of letters until Rupert died.

Following is a CDV of Rupert, Alfred and their pet, and two CDV portraits of Rupert in his teens. (By the way, Rupert’s wearing the same collar as another English society boy Leonard Spiller. They both ended up at Cambridge only three years apart too. It would be interesting to find out if Leonard was Alfred’s classmate -they certainly attended during the same years and are the same age.)

And then as he is known: ‘the most handsome man of England’ in 1913, two years before his death:

Rupert Brooke

Rupert Brooke

Sad too that Alfred was killed in action only three months after his brother’s death.

A favorite poem of his after the cut, ‘The Great Lover’.

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The WWI era British sailor and his stylish brother

RPPC. Private Collection.

RPPC. Private Collection.

The sailor’s hat reads H.M.S ROCKET. His standing brother is beautifully dressed in an outdoorsy suit with corduroy riding trousers. Love the patterned waistcoat with the striped tie…He had style.

RPPC: F.J. Seaman, Hall. York & Blackpool.


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