Friday, February 11, 2011

The Remaining Quarter

I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that yesterday, someone found a small album containing some truly enchanting Victorian (or possibly Edwardian) photographs. The bad news is that almost three quarters of them were missing.

If these are the photos that nobody wanted to remove, I can't begin to imagine what the others were like:

I normally clean up any old photographs I find, removing scratches and dust marks. But in this case, I think it would break the spell.


Poetry24 said...

The penultimate photograph is superb. Those faces, looking back at us through the mists of time. Another treasure trove, Steerforth. Well done.

PearlFog said...

These are so beautiful! I'm intrigued that the children in the fifth picture are in the same dancing hold as is used in 'The Gay Gordon's', a country dance taught in primary schools all over Scotland. It may be that this is a common hold used for different dances, but it's enchanting to think that the kids in that photo may be doing the same dance that I learnt as a child in the Fort William Primary School gymhall twenty years ago.

I have to say that those boys look much smarter than the gym-shorted and football-topped boys I was stuck with! The sweaty-handed little sods used to see who could whirl their partner round the fastest, get some real centrifugal force going to thenlet go and watch us flying off into the wooden climbing bars. I would much rather have danced with the bowing boy in picture two :)

Between Channels said...

Tremendous stuff as ever - the little children dancing have a kind of 'Cottingley Fairies' feel to them.

Steerforth said...

Yes Martin, I also like the penultimate photo, even though it's in a dreadful state. I thought they were all women, but there is a beared Edward VII lookalike in the background.

PearlFog - Thanks for making me laugh after a tough day. I can well imagine those 'sweaty-handed little sods' flinging their partners against the woooden bars. I did some Scottish country dancing when I was ten (I was living in a Sussex children's home that was run by a Miss Jean Brodie-esque matron from Edinburgh and a Glaswegian nursing sister) and I remember the thin line between dancing and unarmed combat.

Anonymous said...

I like the one of the boy in the dark jacket and waistcoat and long trousers. His first day at work, perhaps? As an articled clerk in a solicitor's or accountant's office? Or perhaps as a messenger in a bank? His life is about to begin, or at least take a radical change.
Canadian Chickadee

Gabriela Von Bohlen said...

I love these photos. I'm reading The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt and these pictures could be of the Edwardian children in that book. It wasn't very common back then to photograph everyday life.

Steerforth said...

Gabriela - as you're new to this blog, you may not have seen these photographs from the 1860s, which I found a few months ago: