I am always delighted when I come across the work of an Irish photographic studio which was located outside the bigger cities and this carte-de-visite is a fine example from the County Monaghan town of Clones. I reckon it dates from the 1880s, as the strong featured woman wears her hair in the tightly curled style which was popular during this decade. The knotted military style braiding or frogging is also a nice detail. I think the large corsage might be of orange blossom which would make this a wedding portrait as that flower was associated with marriage.
The studio of J. Galway was located at 21 Fermanagh Street. By 1901, the business was run by 62 year old widow Mrs. Sarah Jane Galway and her daughter Katherine. In the next census, which took place in 1911, Katherine lists her occupation as ‘Photographer and organist’ and is living with a ‘Helper/Companion’ called Ellie Murphy.
As with many of the photographs in my collection, this one was sent to America providing an important link to family back in Ireland.