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CDV-CominFromTheBeds

I’m sad to see that the car free status of the Phoenix Park will end tomorrow on Monday the 18th of May. It has truly been an oasis of calm during this lockdown. In contrast this carte-de-visite shows a raucous Sunday evening return from the Strawberry Beds via Parkgate Street. The Strawberry Beds are located along the banks of the north side of the River Liffey and were a popular spot for day-trippers whose drunken return journeys could end in mishap. In Weston St. John Joyce’s Neighbourhood of Dublin (1912), he describes trips to the Strawberry Beds as follows:

“On fine Sundays in summer it was visited by large numbers from the city. Cars used to ply between Carlisle (now O’Connell) Bridge and “the Beds” at 3d a seat, and were so well patronised that it was not an infrequent sight to see a procession of these vehicles. amid blinding clouds of dust, extending the whole way from Parkgate Street to Knockmaroon. The outside cars, too, were longer in those days, and carried three passengers on each side without any due compression, not to speak of two or three in the well. The strawberry vendors, pipers, fiddlers, and publicans reaped a rich harvest, the sounds of revelry filled the air, and when the shades of night had fallen, numerous involuntary dismounts were made from the cars on the homeward journey.” p.357

I don’t usually collect non-photographic material but ‘filler’ or ‘photographic scraps’ such as this humorous print were often sold in the carte-de-visite format for inclusion in albums of mainly photographic material.

The print shows the distinctive stone piers leading to Chesterfield Avenue (the central thoroughfare through the Phoenix Park) which were erected in 1810. The piers along with their glass lanterns were removed in 1932 for the Eucharistic Congress and only re-installed in 1986. You can also see the Wellington Monument peaking out of the trees dating from 1861. The mural style drinking fountain in the foreground was commissioned by the Earl of Carlisle and designed by Deane and Woodward. It too dates from 1861 and its construction was part of the Drinking Fountain Movement which sought to provide clean water to the masses whose preference for beer (which was safer than many water supplies) was at odds with the Temperance Movement.

The clothes of those pictured in the print do not provide a strong indicator of its date as the men wear breeches and buckle shoes which were popular with workers throughout the 19th century. The women’s outfits are not depicted in detail although the skirts are wide and standing out as per the 1860s crinoline. The top-hated and frock coat wearing gentleman standing by the fountain could perhaps indicate that the image is contemporaneous to the Wellington Monument and the drinking fountain of 1861.

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Carte-de-visite by John Lawrence, Dublin, 1860s Source: Author’s collection

This carte-de-visite photograph was taken in the 1860s at John Fortune Lawrence’s photographic studio and Civet Cat Bazaar. The cat referred to in the business name is a nocturnal mammal associated with ‘fox dung coffee’ which is produced when coffee berries are harvested from the droppings of the Asian palm civet! In addition to a photographic studio, Lawrence also sold toys, sports equipment and fancy goods from his premises at 39 Grafton Street, Dublin.

This little girl, standing doll-like on a studio chair, is wearing an off-the-shoulder wide hemmed silk dress which typifies the 1860s. A single string of coral was believed to protect her health. She wears bloomers and white socks with black patent leather hook-and-eye boots. The hairstyle is very on trend: short, parted in the middle and swept behind her ears with a hairband. Overall her outfit is very like that worn by Princess Beatrice in a photo session from May 1860. In it Beatrice was photographed with her mother Queen Victoria by John Jabez Edwin Mayall and you can see here that her hairstyle, necklace and boots are very similar.

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Advertisement for Brown, Thomas, and Co., The Nation, 16th April 1864

In 1864, Lawrence employed the architect William George Murray to design several additions to his building (now a Burger King) including a ‘large wareroom, archery gallery for butt shooting and photographic gallery with waiting rooms.’

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Verso of carte-de-visite by John Lawrence, Dublin, 1860s Source: Author’s collection

Advertisements placed by Lawrence reveal Dublin’s rich consumer culture and the wide variety of products that were available. Many of the toys were imported from Germany or France and included magic lanterns, wax and rag dolls, dissected maps, bon-bon boxes, dolls’ houses, clock work toys, panoramas, racing games and tool chests.

Some of the games and toys are unfamiliar to us today, for example, Cannonade was a game of chance played with a teetotum (a small spinning top); Fantoccini figures were puppets imported directly from Italy. Pope Joan was a card game played on a round board. In December 1856, Lawrence offered two very topical games based on the Crimean War: Battle of Inkerman and Siege of Sebastopol.

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Siege of Sebastopol game, Bodleian Libraries

Lawrence was constantly diversifying. In the late 1850s he sold birds and bird cages including parrots, java sparrows, waxbills and indigo birds. In March 1854, he announced that he was the pyrotechnic artist to the Lord Lieutenant. Selling many kinds of fireworks and offering to forward them ‘to all parts of the Kingdom, and competent persons sent to fire them, if required.’ He also made rocking horses covered in natural skins!

In 1863 Lawrence advertises that he is offering the carte-de-visite process along with coloured photographs and he sold albums and celebrity carte-de-visites. One of these was a photograph of General Burke ‘taken since his arrest.’ Burke [Bourke in some notices] was a Fenian leader who was arrested in April 1867. Lawrence was not the only studio selling political carte-de-visites. His notice in The Freeman’s Journal of the 7th of June 1867, appeared alongside one from Lesage’s studio, at 40 Lower Sackville Street which announced the sale of cartes depicting General Burke, John McCafferty and Patrick Doran ‘taken from life in Kilmainham Jail.’ They had been arrested and sentenced to death for high treason causing much uproar during that summer. After large demonstrations their sentences were eventually commuted mainly upon the strength of Burke and McCafferty’s claims to American citizenship. Both had fought in the American Civil War. A photo of McCafferty by Lesage is held in the National Library of Ireland and you can see what he looked like here.

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The Freeman’s Journal, 7th June 1867

John Lawrence (1833-1897) ran his Grafton Street studio from 1854 until 1884 when it was taken over by Louis Werner. Lawrence’s negatives were taken over by his brother William Lawrence whose better known studio was on Sackville street (now O’Connell Street).

 

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Cabinet Card by Sauvy, 64A Patrick Street, Cork, Ireland, ca. 1885 (author’s collection)

 

 

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Carte-de-visite studio portrait by T. Plimmer, 19 High Street, Belfast, ca. 1885. (author’s collection)

These studio portraits from the 1880s show two unfeasibly narrow-waisted women. One was taken in the Cork studio run by Paris-born Adam Alphonse Sauvy and the other by Thomas Plimmer in Belfast. Of course, these women would have been aided by some seriously constricting corsetry, however, upon closer inspection they also reveal that the photographic studio has aided them with some carefully placed retouching or ‘photoshopping.’

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Both these close-ups show that the negatives have been doctored to create these wasp waists. If you look closely you can see where the waists were quite crudely reduced through the painting-in of a triangular shape on the negative.

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Both outfits typify the mid-1880s. The Belfast lady’s stripped two-piece includes a basque bodice trimmed with jet beads. A high collar with an attached jabot, lace cuffs, and a draped over-skirt. The Cork woman’s lace outfit also includes a draped over-skirt and high neckline. Both wear corsages and the horse-shoe brooch worn at the neck of the Sauvy portrait is typical of the period. Fashionable hair was curled, centre-parted and loosely piled and combed upwards with curls around the forehead.

I love the way the studio props complement and mimic and the textures of the women’s outfits. Brocade curtains and velvet upholstery add to the visual layers in these images.

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National Library of Ireland, Lawrence Collection, L_ROY_01918

Thanks to the preservation of the Lawrence photographic collection at the National Library of Ireland, we can see exactly where the Sauvy image was taken. The image above shows the Paris Studio on the upper floors of 64 Patrick Street, Cork. Unlike many of the studios, which sought cachet through fanciful connections with continental Europe, Sauvy was really born in Paris. He ran his Cork studio at this location between 1879 and 1893. This photograph shows that his studio was well-positioned on a main thoroughfare although he did have plenty of local competition. Other studios on Patrick Street alone included Henry Hunter at No. 28; Berlin Studio at No.61; Francis Guy at No.70 and William O’Callaghan at No. 102. Note the roof top addition which was most likely added around the time of this notice which appeared in the Cork Examiner on the 2nd of October, 1882:

“The photographic art – Mr. A. Sauvy’s studio, in Patrick Street, has undergone enlargement and renovation, and it is now among one of the best in the kingdom. New backgrounds and scenery have been erected in the operating room, while specimens of art on view outside and inside the studio are of the newest and best description. Those who patronize Mr. Sauvy are certain to get well executed photographs.”

Sauvy also had a branch on Dublin’s Grafton Street and appears to have lived in Dublin. One of his addresses was on the upmarket Morehampton Road and one of his children, Celestine, was born at Holles Street hospital in 1884. Sauvy died in Paris in 1916.

The Paris Studio on Partick Street was sold to German-born August Tuhten in 1893. Perhaps Tuhten was one of the many European assistants that Sauvy boasted of in his advertisements? Tuhten was resident in Cork from at least 1882 when he was listed as a mason in Cork’s Hibernian lodge. Prior to his Cork career, he had a family in London with Anna Zimmern. Their three children were born in Stoke Newington, London, in the 1870s. He also had several art-associated ventures in London and Leicester. He ran the Paris Studio in Cork up until the early 1890s. In the 1901 census he is listed as a ‘boarder’ in the Leicester home of Cork-born Louisa McCarthy. One wonders if they met in Cork? Their first child, Ivy, was born in Leeds in 1893 and was registered as Ivy McCarthy. A son Fred was born in Leeds in 1898 and another Alan in London in 1906. The entire family went to Canada in 1907 settling at first in British Columbia. This second relationship does not appear to have lasted and by 1916 August is living alone and states that he is a widow. He died in Hardisty, Alberta, in 1932. Louisa died in Powell River, British Columbia in 1961 at the age of 93.

I have been guilty of neglecting this blog over the last year mainly due to finishing my PhD. I’m getting back to it now with this image of Ormond Quay Upper, Dublin. It dates from early 1920 or 1921 when the quays were still cobbled and had two-way traffic. Young children, some shoeless, follow a military band and marching ‘soldiers.’ These are most likely auxiliaries who formed a paramilitary unit of the Royal Irish Constabulary. Set up during the Irish War of Independence, they were infamous for their reprisals against the civilian population and were generally disliked.

Passengers on the upper deck of the open-topped No. 24 tram lean out to watch them pass. The tram followed a route from Parkgate Street to O’Connell Street. During this period, the Dublin tram system was extensive and by 1911 there were 330 trams criss-crossing the city. The 24 route was first established in 1874 and it closed in 1938.

Capel Street bridge is visible in the distance and it is also possible to make out the sign on No. 20 which was a temporary branch of Bank of Ireland. A new Ormond Quay branch of the bank was built further along the quays. The architects were Millar & Symes.

 

No. 18 Upper Ormond Quay housed Watts Brothers gunsmiths from 1969 to 1999. In 1920 is was a hotel and restaurant and it is currently undergoing restoration by the Dublin Civic Trust. I was also delighted to see that another building on this block is being restored by Sunni L. Goodson and you can find an account of her work on the building here. The photographer David Jazay took some great images of the quays before many of the original buildings were demolished. You can see his work here.

 

Whilst researching this photograph I came across an amazing photograph taken along the same quays ca. in 1900. It shows Roche’s hairdressers at No. 31. It is a beautiful shop front with interesting signwriting. Hairpieces hang in the window. The business was founded in 1889 by Lucinda (Lucy) Roche (nee Byrne). The little boy in the sailor suit is Sean Roche who went on to fight in the 1916 Rising. Thanks to Ciaran Clarke, for permission to re-post the photo. Ciaran is a descendant of Lucy’s and the 5th generation of the family to work in the business. He runs two barbershops in Kildare and you can find out more about the history of the family business here. Thanks also to my colleague Lar Joye for identifying the unit as auxiliaries.

 

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This small snapshot was taken in 1957 and it is captioned on the back as a ‘Dublin liquor store.’ It shows numbers 52 and 53 Dame Street and the side street called Temple Lane South. Although it includes two Georgian buildings, the image is decidedly modern in its composition and atmosphere. Two cars can be seen moving out of the shot, three hat-wearing men are ambling down the street, one with a parcel under his arm. A female cyclist wearing a fashionably tight skirt and knitted sweater has stopped by the path. Bicycles are lined up against the side wall of number 53 on Temple Lane South.

Perhaps the modern feel is heightened by the fact that the front of No. 53 (the headquarters of the wine and spirit distributor, D.E. Williams) was designed by the modernist architecture Michael Scott. When first opened, it was described by The Irish Times on the 16th of August 1941 as being ‘carried out in teak’ and as ‘a notable example of simplicity and elegance in design.’ By 1957 the exterior is pretty much unchanged excepting for the addition of an incongruous curved wooden flower box over the door. You can click on the above image to see a larger version of the snapshot.

The window display bears the slogan ‘Give Every Man his Dew.’ This refers to the whiskey Tullamore Dew which takes its name from the initials of the distributor D.E. Williams. An article, dating from 1954, on the history of the company can be found here. Now an Italian restaurant called Nico’s (one of the oldest Italian restaurants in the city) which first opened in 1963. It is mentioned in this piece from the Dublin blog ‘Come Here to Me’ that also includes a really nice photograph of the building taken in recent years. This review also references the restaurant’s history.

The next building, No. 52, was occupied by several legal firms. Street directories also give home addresses for the ‘legal eagles’ that were mainly in affluent parts of South county Dublin and Wicklow: John K. Lloyd-Blood, commissioner for oaths, home address Glencot House, Kilmacnogue, County Wickow; Gwynne Stirling, residence Marino Lodge, Killiney; Raymond French, solicitor, Knocksinna House, Stillorgan Road.

Number 52 is now a hair and beauty salon called Preen. It has not been altered too much since this photograph was taken. It now has two doors instead of one, however, the latticed windows have been retained on the upper storey. The ground floor and basement recently sold for 661,000 Euros to an overseas investor.

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As stated above the print is small (3 inches x 4 inches). A stamp on the back includes the Minox logo stating that it is an original Minox print with the date of June 11-1957. Minox cameras were produced in Latvia and after the Second World War in West Germany. They were a desirable luxury item that was widely advertised in Europe and America. The firm was also known for a particular sub-miniature camera favoured by spies. The snapshot is printed on Leonar paper, one of the most popular papers in post-war Europe. You can read a history of the firm with particular reference to their Leigrano paper here.

The use of the phrase ‘liquor store’ suggests that this photograph was taken by an American. One who could afford to travel and purchase a Minox camera. It is amazing the tangents that a single snapshot can take you on: from a Michael Scott designed shop-front to whiskey labels and spy cameras.

James Joyce was an astute observer of both male and female fashions. Within Ulysses he repeatedly mentions the uncomfortable nature of the stiff collars worn by men and also notes how various styles of necktie signified class and status. I’ve gathered together some contemporaneous Irish images from Dublin, Belfast and Kilkenny photographic studios illustrating the type of attire that Joyce was referring to.

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“Always know a fellow courting: collars and cuffs. Well cocks and lions do the same and stags. Same time might prefer a tie undone or something.” Nausicaa

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“Bloom stood behind the boy with the wreath looking down at his sleek combed hair and at the slender furrowed neck inside his brand new collar.” Hades

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“What caused him irritation in his sitting posture? Inhibitory pressure of collar (size 17) and waistcoat (5 buttons), two articles of clothing superfluous in the costume of mature males and inelastic to alterations of mass by expansion. How was the irritation allayed? He removed his collar, with contained black necktie and collapsible stud, from his neck to a position on the left of the table.” Ithaca

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“He rustled the pleated pages, jerking his chin on his high collar. Barber’s itch. Tight collar he’ll lose his hair. Better leave him the paper and get shut of him.” Lotus-Eaters

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“Master Dignam walked along Nassau street, shifted the pork steaks to his other hand. His collar sprang up again and he tugged it down. The blooming stud was too small for the buttonhole of the shirt, blooming end to it.” Wandering Rocks

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“Dull eye: collar tight on his neck, pressing on a blood vessel or something.” Hades

 

 

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This series of portraits shows members of the rural vocational organisation Muintir na Tíre (People of the Land). Established in 1937, it aimed to counter societal breakdown in rural Ireland. It followed the teaching of the Catholic Church’s encyclical Quadragesimo Anno which hoped to challenge the threat of communism through strong lay and vocational organisation. Eoin Devereux’s 1991 article on Muintir na Tíre noted that it reflected the strong anti-urbanism which prevailed in Ireland during the period and that persists in certain quarters to this day.

The following quotation from the organisation’s 1941 handbook is very revealing: “Country life is not dull. It is the city life that is cheerless and stupid and vapid, degenerate, futile and foreign with its narrow conventions, its artificiality and its purchased amusements.” Despite the organisation’s antagonism towards the urban, Devereux notes that many of its leaders were urban-based professionals.

This accords with the location of the photographer’s studio. J. Dunne worked from 36 Leinster Road in Rathmines, a suburb of Dublin. These portraits are more informal than official passport photographs and more revealing of the sitters’ personalities. From a sartorial point of view their clothes are typical of the 1950s as tweeds and woollens dominate. Tank tops, wide neck ties, thickly framed horn-rimmed glasses were popular with the men. Some wear the pin of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart (PTAA), an Irish organisation for Catholic teetotallers.

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There is more variety in the women’s outfits. One wears a fitted dress with a fur-ruffled collar while another has a broad-shouldered fake fur coat. Tweed is also popular with the ladies as were knitted tops and twin sets. These are adorned with pearls, brooches and lace collars. All wear badges with the organisation’s logo featuring a cross superimposed on a plough, thus linking the rural and the religious.

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The portraits were most likely taken at a function room or in Dunne’s studio in suburban Rathmines where he operated for a short while from 1954. The series is interesting in that it shows a certain cohort of middle-class, respectable, Irish people of a variety of ages. These portraits were instigated, not by the usual familial ties which cause a visit to the photographic studio, but rather by membership of a vocational organisation.JDunne-Portraits-7JDunne-Portraits-9JDunne-Portraits-10 JDunne-Portraits-11 JDunne-Portraits-12

Further reading: Eoin Devereux, ‘Saving rural Ireland – Muintir na Tíre and its Anti-Urbanism, 1931-1958’ in The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 17, 2 (December 1991): 23-40.

Maurice Curtis, A Challenge to Democracy: Militant Catholicism in Modern Ireland. Dublin: The History Press Ireland, 2010.

Maurice Curtis, “Miraculous Meddlers: The Catholic Action Movement.” History Ireland 18, 5 (2010): 34-37.

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This carte-de-visite was taken at Thomas Whittaker’s Dublin Metropolitan Photographic Company in or around 1860. It doesn’t give an address, however, Edward Chandler’s inventory of nineteenth century Irish photographers lists the company as operating ca. 1860 in both Kilkenny and Dublin. It appears that in the capital, Whittaker worked out of 140 Stephen’s Green West and from another address on Grafton Street. Whilst his Kilkenny base was on John Street. According to a discussion on an Irish genealogical site, Whittaker died in 1872 and I think I have located his son’s family on the 1901 census. I’m basing my date of ca. 1860 on both the fashions and the type of card mount that was used. Early 1860s cartes had square rather than rounded corners and the photographer’s name and/or crest were printed in the middle of the card. Whittaker’s crest has enclosed the Dublin City Coat of Arms within a strap and buckle design.

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The fashions worn by the couple are typical of those between 1860 and 1865. She wears a crinoline and the voluminous silk skirt spreads out over the chair and onto the floor. The buttons on her bodice and the brooch pinned to her white collar are made of ebony or vulcanite. The bodice appears to be lightly pleated and gathered and is finished with simple coat sleeves. Her headdress which consists of two plaits is very similar to the one below which was featured in Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1862 (source archive.org).

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The man wears a large loose fitting wool overcoat with wide notched lapels and a contrasting velvet collar. His upturned shirt collar is finished with a loose bow tie. He carries a hat with a wide band, turned-up brim and a telescope style crown. His trousers are wide legged and his laced shoes appear to be well-worn and polished. Together this middle-aged couple are keeping up with the styles of the 1860s.

This is the fourth year that I’ve written about the photographic references within Joyce’s Ulysses. Episode 14, Oxen in the Sun, relates to pregnancy and birth and includes a reference to ‘artistic coloured photographs of prize babies’ whose circulation to pregnant women was recommended. The carte-de-viste below dates to 1880 and is a composite image of thirty-seven smiling babies hovering over the phrase ‘Good Morning.’ Joyce refers to a coloured photograph and curiously page 45 of James Birch’s Babylon: Surreal Babies (Dewi Lewis, 2010) includes the same image reproduced in a pastel tinted postcard printed in Germany and sent from France ca. 1900.

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In Episode 17, Ithaca, Bloom’s mental inventory  of the contents of a cabinet at his home 7 Eccles Street includes ‘fading photographs of Queen Alexandra of England and of Maud Branscombe, actress and professional beauty.’ I’ve featured Maud on a previous Bloomsday post here, however, the photo below shows the Queen whilst she was Princess of Wales and which was taken in 1863 not long after her marriage to Edward the VII. It is hand-tinted and in the carte-de-visite process. Images of Alexandra sold very well throughout her life and she visited Ireland on several occasions.

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Other Ulysses related posts include ‘Milly Bloom and Photography’ and ‘Grandpapa Giltrap’s lovely-dog‘.

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By the late 1850s, according to Priscilla Harris Dalrymple’s Victorian Costume in Early Photographs, it ‘was becoming fashionable to close only the top button of the coat,’ whilst trousers remained creaseless and without turn-ups. These trends were certainly adopted by this young man who had his photograph taken in the little-known studio of I.J. Rice in the town of Mallow, County Cork, ca. 1860. This image may well be the only surviving evidence of Rice’s output. The card’s straight-edges and plain stamp indicate that it is an early example of the carte-de-visite process.

I love the nonchalance of the man’s pose and even though the image has been damaged and marked over the years it is still possible to make out his distinctive attire and striking hairstyle. His lacquered hair is parted on both sides and piled up high in the middle. His watch fob, bow tie and pinky ring have been crudely highlighted with green ink. His bowler or derby hat rests on the ornate studio chair which contrasts with the plain backdrop.

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This image and indeed his pose bear an uncanny resemblance to another photograph from my collection. The portrait below originated in an Irish-American album and is an example of the tintype process which was favoured in the United States. Although separated by thousands of miles, both men are dressed in a very similar manner.

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