This seems to be a week and a bit of pets, doesn’t it? The photo above is a postcard of the Edwardian actress and music hall singer, Ellaline Terriss, when she was young, holding a kitten. I’ve put a YouTube video below in you can hear her singing with her husband Seymour Hicks. The accompanying video is apparently from a silent Pathe short frm 1922. In it, you can see the same photo from the postcard I have. Here’s a tip: if you’re ever tempted to collect these types of cards, shop around before you buy as some people sell them for silly amounts of money and you can usually find them cheaper. (I know, because I’ve fallen for it myself, before!)
Below is another postcard, this time of an unknown child, also holding a kitten. Odd how both kits are tabbies. Is it that it’s the type of cat that most elicits a positive emotional response from the viewer? Myself, I get emotional over any kitten, regardless of breed!
I’ve deliberately coloured this photo a little differently from usual. I wanted to retain the semi-monotone tint while adding some skin colour, so I’ve made it warmer than the original, but haven’t given it as wide a range of hues as I usually do.
The lower part of these faded-out photos are always a problem, as the fade-out is deliberate on the part of the photographer and they are sometimes very clumsily done (in our modern terms, anyway. Probably not, then). So, while I’ve added a little of the missing body of the kitten, I’ve only given it a a small amount of definition.
The kitten’s eyes were a bit of a problem, as the one in shadow looked like it was an entirely different colour, so what I’ve done is partially desaturate that one. And – while doing this, it occurred to me to check the colour of a kitten’s eyes and I’m glad I did. Did you know that kittens often don’t have the eye colour of adult cats? I’ve never noticed before, but it explains why, apart from clearly blue-eyed ones such as siamese, most kitten photos I’ve seen the kits have had bluey-grey eyes. (Then, of course, in my version above, with the overall tint, they probably don’t look that colour at all!)
Which of these photos do you like best, Ellaline or the child? I like Ellaline for her beautiful smile, and the lower one for the look of innocence. And I love the kitten in the lower one, it seems to alert!
By the way, the colour in the Ellaline Terriss one is a hand-tint (not by me) and it is stunning in the original. Apart from a bit of a blob on her shoulder, it’s quite perfect. The kitten has been tinted, her hair has, the fabric she’s wearing, her skin – just lovely. I was toying with the idea of leaving as it was but I don’t think my colourings detract from the originals as you have them both to choose from, and you can enjoy whichever you prefer.
Oh, and one final point. You might notice that the postcard says ‘Miss Ellaline Terriss’. ‘Miss’ was a courtesy in those days, but if you look closely, you’ll see she is wearing a wedding ring!