Tag Archives: portrait

Frozen in time by ‘The Elliotts, Makers of Pictures’

cabinet-the-elliotts

The Elliotts – Austin, TX.

The Elliotts, Makers of Pictures photo studio was owned and operated by a couple, Martyn (1871-1936) and Jane (1871-1955), of 814 Congress in Austin, Texas. Jane, sometimes referred to as Jean or Jeannie on family documents, was a full partner – a rare and uncommon practice at the time!

Martyn and Jane were both 30 when they moved to Austin in 1901, and opened their studio. It remained successful until the Great Depression when Martyn’s increasingly failing health, and the poor economy pushed them to sell the business and negatives to Jensen Studios and Student Publications.

During their years as co-owners they managed to land exclusive contracts with the State of Texas’ legislature and the University of Texas annual where their daughter, Sarah Pelham Elliott, graduated in 1929 with a degree in stenography.

Was this serious looking teen a University of Texas student? Was it Mrs. Elliott he saw behind the camera?

As all good photographers, Jane must have had a knack for making people comfortable in front of the lens. I imagine she must have had to work hard to assuage preconceived notions, and to gain and maintain a successful, professional and personal reputation in an era when women were not expected to own businesses, and especially not in a field traditionally occupied by men.

She should have seen mindsets slowly changing from the 1900s to 1930s, with  women gaining the right to vote in 1920,  around the middle of her career.

And photographs speak for themselves. This nice shot would have made a fine class portrait in the ’20s to mid ’30s.

Source: Sanders and Elliott Family Papers

Advertisements

Fashionably Victorian in Adrian, Michigan

cabinet-wt-barnum-michigan

W.T. Barnum, Adrian Michigan cabinet card of young man with cross tie tack.

This handsome teen’s hair was a mess of waves in the front. He didn’t fight it with pomade, instead choosing to let it do its thing! He wears a distinguished white tie with a cross tie tack the focal point. A nice piece of jewelry with the chain hanging by the side. The cross itself appears to have horseshoes and bell symbols, and is this a saint in the middle? I’d like to find out what the cross represents, aside from being what I suspect is a luck charm. Could it be a military cross, a type of iron cross? It looks like the American sharpshooter one, except that one has a target in the center.

cabinet-wt-barnum-tieknot

This card is of the 1870s-90s when flat and fat ties were extremely popular (and yet -random thought- I never see them in period films!). The fabric looks beautifully regal too. This portrait reminds me of this other cabinet card of the same era, with the similar type of tie and collar combination (and pose).

Update: this young man was a university student, member of the  Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. The local chapter -Alpha Mu- in Adrian, Michigan was founded in 1881, and is still active today. This cabinet card is most likely from the 1880s! It would not be impossible to find out who he was. 

Thank you, Val, for your research!


Early Colombia Portrait Company button photograph

chicago-columbia-2

Detail of 1890’s to early 1900’s button portrait. ©bahc/c.ryan

This portrait is a beautiful early example of tin buttons the Chicago based Columbia Portrait Company used to make. The three founders Thomas J. Ogara, Thomas J. Durkin, and C.M. Stumcke incorporated in 1893 and the company was successful for nearly half a century before closing its doors in 1940. The name of the company was inspired by the Chicago’s World Fair of 1893 where they must have made their introduction. They made fine oil reproduction portraits and framed button “bubble” photographs they then began to sell on the road across the country.

So let’s talk about this young gentleman. I believe his portrait is very likely the reproduction of a cabinet card/cdv/tintype. The picture is sharp  and he was dressed to impress. His tie stack is impressive too, is this a large gemstone set with smaller ones? (I’m tempted to say they’re diamonds). The button is a smooth matte; unlike the later celluloid examples I’ve seen which have a plasticity or “bubble” effect to them. This portrait looks more like a tintype. I wonder if the young man was at the fair and had it done then and there.

chicago-columbia

The button portrait is 6 inches in diameter, not counting the brass frame with hook. The logo is at the back center.

When I saw this button portrait I knew I had to have it. I was thrilled to find a tintype-like photograph in this format, with the sitter easily fitting in this collection. It needed quite a bit of cleaning up too. I usually keep originals alone but I’m looking to find out how to renovate the frame and cover a few age stains.


Harold and Woods Ballies

rppc-harold-woods-ballies

RPPC of Harold and Woods Ballies, c.1910. Private Collection.

These two look effortlessly elegant. Harold and Woods posed in their stiff collars and loose suits for a formal portrait. Hopefully they did their mama proud!

RPPC: AZO 1904-1918.


This 1900’s young man with the curtained hair

rppc-1900s-curtain-hair-gent

1900’s RPPC. Private Collection.

I love this portrait for many reasons; the weathering adds a certain something to it that’s hard to describe, this young man’s also a bit nervous and awkward like he didn’t quite know how he would pose after he put his hat on the floor. And the backdrop drape is not figurative but painted more abstractly.

 

rppc-1900s-curtain-hair-gent-b

RPPC: Back typical of North American cards of the period, but with no stamp box.


A fashionable Edwardian gentleman

rppc-socks

RPPC. Private collection.

A nice portrait of a gentleman from the 1900’s. He’s wearing a sack jacket with a white waistcoat, completing the put-together look with patterned socks, which stand out in this shot. To the modern eye, the pattern looks like can tabs!

 


1928 Bulgarian Duo

rppc-bulgarian-duo

Bulgarian duo dated 28 Dec. 1928. Private Collection

A duo that took their picture during the Holidays of 1928. I don’t know if anyone else but me is seeing this, but the buddy on the right reminds me of one of the dancers in Madonna’s Vogue music video of the 90’s, but if he were in his teens.

rppc-bulgarian-duo-2

Close-up.


Photographer:
Foto-Lux. Shumen,Bulgaria.


%d bloggers like this: