I love this photo and am happy to have been able to re-colour it. I say ‘re-colour’ as it was one of the ones I lost when my pc crashed.
Unusually, the people on the front are named on the back, in fact the card was written by Evelyn, the woman in the photo. The man is her brother, Charlie, and she’s writing to their sister Kate. You can see the back of the photo and her message, below.
Click the photos above and below a couple of times to see them larger and in more detail.
They are both very well-dressed and she has jewellery, so they are probably upper class. The fact that she mentions that the photo was taken in Harrogate makes me think that they didn’t live there. Also she says she got ‘them’ taken there, so they must have had a number of prints made. I wonder if it was for a special occasion? The ‘wall’ prop in the studio is unusual in that it’s quite detailed.
There’s a lot of silvering to the photo, including the outer part of the photo over his suit, and also to the part at the top of the backdrop, so what looks like a gap in the branches of the tree, is simply damage to the photo. I’ve restored it to a degree but didn’t want to overwork it.
I think the buttons are probably enamelled or possibly glass, so I’ve given them a light two-colour treatment and left the rims silver. I’d meant to make them the same colour as her bracelets, but ended up leaving them. I couldn’t decide if his watch/fob chain should be silver or gold, so I did a very slight tint. I’ve no idea what the item is that is hanging from the chain – it looks like a tassel, but I don’t think it can be, so I’ve left that plain. This is one of the main problems of not being able to identify part of a photo – how the heck to colour it!
In my original colouring of this photo, I did two versions one of which had Evelyn wearing a different coloured dress. My ‘go-to’ colours for dresses of this period are green, sometimes a deep maroon, sometimes dark blue, sometimes brown, but green is always my first choice. Colourings can be changed and I couldn’t decide what she’d have worn. Then, while my pc was away being repaired, I kept thinking about this photo and realised that, in my memory, she was always wearing green. A rich green that makes her come alive and match her lovely smile. So when I came to re-do it, that’s how I set the colour.
I find it very frustrating and not a little upsetting that whoever decided to part with this photo – whether the original owner’s descendants or the seller – forcibly wrenched it from a hard-card backing or out of a photo album. The remaining, dark paper looks like that of a photo album. Removing a photo from a collection in such a way is bad enough, but to pull it out so that it becomes damaged, is (in my opinion) unforgivable. But that’s the way many sellers make their money – they buy an album, pull the photos from the pages, and sell the photos individually.
According to an archived document I found, the photographer, Mark E. (Edward) Mitchell lived and worked at 5 & 6 Montpellier Parade, Harrogate, York. The embedded Google Streetview below opens on 4 Montpellier Parade (Blues Cafe), so it was either one (or two) of the neighbouring buildings or, more likely, the buildings were re-numbered. (Number 7 is the Spirit of Harrogate building.)
You can click, drag and zoom inside it to move around.