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Posts Tagged ‘Westmoreland Street’

Stanley-CDV-Dublin-500

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.

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The chill in the air reminded me of this beautiful carte-de-visite showing a Dublin girl in her lavish winter outfit. The expression on her wise little face, peaking out from the large bonnet, makes me think that she might have been a tad precocious and spoilt!

The matching coat, muff and gaiters are made from a material which looks like the fake or fun furs which were popular during my childhood in the 1970s. In my attempt to identify the fabric, I received several suggestions as to what this material might be including an Astrakhan fur, a reversed shearling or a bouclè wool. In general, I find Noreen Marshall’s Dictionary of Children’s Clothes 1700s to Present to be very useful and the excellent photographs in this V&A publication make it a vital resource for the historian of children’s costume.

Lauder Brothers worked from 32 Westmoreland Street from the 1850s to 1900 although I think that this image dates from the later decades of their tenure at this premises. Edward Chandler included several of their card backs in his invaluable book Photography in Ireland: the Nineteenth Century and the example above matches those from the 1890s. I located a similar, although possibly later image, from a Romanian studio on an interesting blog called The Cabinet Card Gallery.

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