Stuffed animals were popular props in photographic studios. In an earlier post I refer to a cabinet card by Lafayette which features a stuffed dog! I like the way the photographer has included a hutch for the rabbits to ‘live’ in and also how they have occupied the child in ‘feeding’ the pet. Note how you can see where the backdrop meets the floor covering.
A hand-written note records that the photograph is of ‘Aileen at the age of 4 years and 10 months,’ no surname is provided. The census shows that there were 74 Aileens under ten years’ of age living in Dublin in 1901 and 95 in 1911. Perhaps, she was one of these?
The photograph is in the cabinet card format which was 108 by 165 mm (4¼ by 6½ inches). The back of the card states that the Stanley Studio also specialised in landscapes and that they were based at 22 Westmoreland Street, facing O’Connell Bridge. This address is known as the Lafayette building, after the photographic studio of that name, and was built in 1890 for an insurance company. The Dublin historians who write at Come Here to Me have a post on this building and the Dolphin Hotel which was also designed by J.J O’Callaghan.
The girl’s outfit includes a long-sleeved white cotton smock or dress with matching pantaloons and beautiful white kid leather side-buttoned boots. The dress appears to have several layers and is full of pin-tucks, flounces and scalloped edges. She is wearing a necklace over the broad ruffled collar. Her dress reminds me of the one worn by the painter John Lavery’s stepdaughter in The Artists’ Studio. You can see the painting here. It was completed between 1909 and 1913 a timescale which fits in exactly with that of the Stanley Studio.