Jayne Shrimpton MA, photo dating expert and dress historian, offers a professional service to individuals and organisations wishing to date old photographs and artworks.She works mainly with family historians, dating old photos, carte de viste cards, postcards, cabinet cards and analysing family pictures, but also helps institutions and groups who would like to date an old photo or understand their vintage image collection.Wealthy subjects had many fashionable ensembles to choose from, whereas ordinary working-class ancestors usually donned their best outfit, kept for church on Sundays and special occasions.Everyone wished to create a good impression in the treasured photographs that would later be shown to family and friends and might be displayed in an album, or hung on the wall.Having learned in the previous blog how photograph compositions and studio settings changed over the years, we now look closely at what our forebears are wearing in old photographs.
Before you think "what an uncommon name," try searching for men named Boleslaw in Baltimore. The fashions in these plates suggest a date of late 1910s to circa 1920. I'm hoping that Michael knows the story behind these two photos.
Using this broad approach, with an emphasis on dating old fashions, she successfully determines an accurate and usually close date range for family photographs and artworks and can often suggest the occasion that inspired their creation - an engagement, wedding, 'breeching', 'coming of age', 21st or landmark birthday, new job, wedding anniversary or mourning.
Old photographs from the UK feature significantly, yet Jayne has worked on pictures originating all over the world, from Ireland to the United States, Canada to Brazil, Russia to Australia, France to India and will do her best to help with all international inquiries.
See also: Safely store, display your old family photographs.
We received a Christmas card from the Llewellyn-Bowen family this week, Laurence, his wife and two daughters dressed up in a 1920s jazz style.