This one is bit different from my usual cards and photos, I think you’ll be able to see why I chose it – it’s charming, don’t you think?
Charming but also rather puzzling, bearing in mind how long it takes to shoot a photo with wildlife and children in it. Did the photographer get the camera ready before the children arrived? Did he or she know that the fox cubs would be coming out of their set?
And the boys… I was wondering whether they are working class or upper (or something in between). At first glance they seem very well dressed – one even has a pocket watch – or at any rate something hidden that’s attached to a chain or rope coming from his waistcoat buttonhole. But then taking a closer look, the lower part of his waistcoat is coming apart at the seams, and his jacket is ripped at the edge, too. Did that happen on this same day? Or was he told “yes, you can go out, but if you’re going to play with the foxes, you’d better put on something old.”
It looks like it’s at the end of autumn, with dry grasses and that rather browny-green look everything seems to have, so I didn’t brighten it as much as I usually do. In fact, the way I’ve done it, it seems to look rather like sepia come to life, don’t you think?
I wonder about the date of it. Any thoughts? My guess is 1910 – 1920, but it could be earlier. The clothes should give a clue, but I’ve not looked into it yet.
One child is wearing a cap, the other what looks like a pith helmet, which made me wonder if it was taken in India rather than in Britain, but I don’t know that India has this sort of fox (Bengal foxes appear to be rather different). I bought it from a UK seller, and the kids do look particularly British. There is also the badge that the boy on the left is wearing – I wonder if it is for a club of some sort, it seems to be a 3-leaf clover, but could be something else.
I didn’t have a clue what fox cubs looked like, colour-wise, so I had a quick look online and assume these are a month or more old as they seem to have some of the white that they’d have as adults, and very young cubs are apparently chocolate brown. I know what adult red foxes look like, as they sometimes visit the garden (yard) where I live and the surrounding fields and pastures. We had a visit from the very handsome one, below, last year. (And yes, that’s the original colour!)
Click a couple of times on each of the photos of the boys and fox cubs to see them larger and more clearly, they should open in a different window or tab.