Posted in 1880s Ireland, tagged 1880s costume, Academic clothing, Belfast, Belfast 1880s, Cabinet cards, Irish Photography, Irish Studio Photography, Kilpatrick Photographers Belfast, Northern Ireland, Studio Portraits, Vernacular Photography, Women's education on March 14, 2012 |
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I was hoping to post this cabinet card for International Women’s Day but didn’t get the scan ready on time. This proud graduate marked her conferral by commissioning a portrait from Kilpatrick photographers of 8 Donegall Place, Belfast. Street directories show that the business was based there in the 1880s and the tight fitting bodice and high neckline of her outfit are in keeping with the fashions of that period.
The lace detailing looks like either ribbon or Guipure lace and her slim silhouette was most likely created by corseting. Other nice details include the almond-shaped brooch, possible made of bog oak, which was worn high on her neckline. The hood of her academic gown was lined with either ermine or rabbit fur and you can also see a cane and the academic scroll in the image.
The cabinet card format (16.5 cm x 11.4cm) was larger than the carte-de-visite (10.5 cm x 6.3 cm) and peaked in popularity in the 1880s. There are some fine examples on the excellent blog The Cabinet Card Gallery.
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Posted in 1880s Ireland, tagged Ballytore, Cabinet cards, Children's Costume, County Kildare, Dublin Photographers, Irish Photography, Lafayette Photographers, Studio Portraits, Studio props, Vernacular Photography on October 23, 2011 |
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This cabinet card shows a charming group photograph of the five Walshe children from Battlemount, Narragmore, Ballytore, County Kildare. The Lafayette studio’s rustic setting includes wooden steps and tufts of artificial grass and is completed by props such as a fishing net, basket, book and what has to be a stuffed dog!
The children are beautifully dressed as befits the family of a comfortable farmer from this prosperous county. The two girls to the front of the photograph wear velvet ruched dresses with beautiful smocking and buttons. The also wear fashionable lace-up boots. Both of the boys are dressed in matching suits with wide stripes and white collars. The elder girl wears a nautical dress and short hair which is perhaps an indication of a recent illness.
The village of Ballytore or Ballitore was the only planned Quaker village in Ireland and home to the ancestors of the explorer Ernest Shackleton. The census returns for 1901 and 1911 state that there were five children in the Walshe family and that their mother, Bridget, who was married in 1873 was widowed by 1901. It is likely that this photograph was taken in the mid-1880s when the youngest child, Michael (b.1881) was about five year’s old.
The above photograph of the family home, Battlemount House was taken many years later and shows the now grown children with their mother. As in the earlier photograph, two of the daughters appear to be wearing identical outfits. Perhaps they were twins? I discovered that one of the daughters, Bridget, was to emigrate to South Africa, and this image might mark one of the last times that the family were to be together.
A newspaper report from August1922 shows that Michael was seeking compensation of £235, from the government, for the loss of his Ford car during the Civil War – an indicator that the family continued to be quite well-off!
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