Click the image a few times to see it larger and in more detail. It should open in a new tab or window. More about this card in a moment but first…
Well, I’m back because I miss this blog but, if you saw my recently-posted note, you’ll know that my computer on which I do all my photocolouring and restoration work, decided it didn’t want to work anymore, which was a pain not least because I’d only bought it last summer and it was new, but also because my memory problems – that’s my memory, not the computer’s – made me forget to back up the computer. And that means I’ve lost four months’ worth of photocolouring and restoration work, along with a whole host of other stuff and also the bookmarked links, photos and videos for my facebook page Val’s Vintage Potpourri. So… for now I’m having to rely on the very few draft posts I had here, like this one. And as soon as my pc returns – hopefully repaired – I’ll have to redo the ones I’ve lost. This means it’s going to take me quite a while to get this blog back to normal.
The moral of all this is that even if you’re a smart-arse like me (who tells everyone to back up regularly and fully) sooner or later it’s going to happen to you, too…
So, on to this picture…
I have a few hand-tinted photos and postcards – original tint-artist unknown, certainly not me! This is one of them. I’ve included the back of the postcard so that as well as the writing on it, you can see the stamp and postmark, also the postcard printer. Unusually, the words ‘POST CARD’ are in red with an underline, with the printer’s info also in red print.
To save you getting a crick in your neck, the printer’s info is:
The Carlton Publishing Co., London E. C. Printed in Germany
As a point of interest, though this doesn’t relate to the date of the image, ‘E. C.’ stands for ‘East Central’ and includes the City of London and parts of the surrounding boroughs with one or more numbers suffixed onto it when the location is beyond the actual centre. To my knowledge, ‘E. C.’ is no longer used without a number, but it was still used within my living memory (I have a London road atlas from the 1940s or 1950s with it.)
The ink-stamp indicates when it was posted, but of course it might have been printed much earlier.
What puzzles me is whether it’s actually a photo. It looks like an illustration but that may be because of the slight fading and the style of printing. The surface is matt, and the base colour is sepia. The added colours are red (with a lighter tint of the same colour on the flowers) and a pale yellow, almost primrose. I can’t tell if the white is the sepia’s base, or not.
The child standing looks out of proportion to me. I don’t know if, perhaps, she is standing on a box that’s hidden beneath her dress, to raise her up, with the shoes positioned beneath her, or if she’s really that shape! Or maybe it’s just an optical illusion because of the ‘piano’. What, indeed, is it? A harpsichord? A Virginals? And does it actually have any keys? Whatever it is, it is sitting on top of a small desk or table with drawers. It looks like a prop, or something invented.
The children don’t seem to have enough solidity for it to be a photo (though it might be) and the backdrop normally seen in vintage studio photos seems, in this, to merge with the foreground in its shallowness.
Most of the colouring is nicely done although, as ever, a closer look reveals some sloppiness – particularly on the flowers and the standing girl’s waistband. But these tints were done on the images themselves, probably with a slender-tipped paintbrush and good eyesight or magnifying glass.
Have you any thoughts on this? Do you think it’s a photo or an illustration? What do you think the instrument is? What about the height of the standing girl? Anything else?
And… dare I ask it… when did you last fully and completely back up your computer?
Oh, and I’ve removed the stupid ‘off topic’ prompt…. one day not-very-soon I want to change this blog rather a lot. And probably me, too.