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Problems dating photos

This page:  [Jessie BROWNE] [Elizabeth WINGETT & sons] [Anne Browne WINGETT] [General Solution] [Links]


Problem 1 - When was this photo taken and who is the sitter?

We thought at first that this was Elizabeth WINGETT, formerly BROWNE, who married Thomas WINGETT in 1811.  As she died in 1862 and this photo posed problems.

Comment from Roger Vaughan:

"It appears wonderful quality not often seen in surviving 1860s photos and still retains the gold toning and not gone to yellow, I would almost suspect a later reprint from the original negative. I feel unhappy giving this a date of 1862, it just looks too good ! It could be 1862, I just feel in my bones that it should be a few years later. You could try to find when the theatre opened / closed in Dumfries it may give a date (try a reference office). So 1862 is just possible but..." 

Solution

Roger was right.  it turned out to be a photo of Jessie BROWNE, formerly WATT who died a bit later around 1865.


Problem 2 - When were these photos taken?

The three photos below are all in a vaguely similar style and I wondered if they could have been done at the same time?  If so the date must have been very early because Thomas, on the extreme left, died in April 1860.  If not, then could they be copies of earlier photos?  Only the photograph of Thomas has a design on the reverse.

Thomas Tozer WINGETT died 1860

Back: simple stamp by P. Devine Edinburgh

William Browne WINGETT died 1865

Back: plain

Elizabeth WINGETT
died 1862 

Back: plain

Solution

"The . . .  lady on the right is a copy, masked out to hide damage on the original, there does appear to be damage to the lower part of the original image . . . She could be as early as 1855 as these are the sort of clothes worn during that decade. Perhaps it was a dageurrotype or ambrotype, This close-up view was achieved by the cameras of the 1850s, but lost with the cartes format of the 1860s, and not seen again much before the 1870s. Plain back because it is a copy and not the work of the copier. So 1855 is possible. The Devine is also a later copy of an earlier format for the reasons above. WB Wingett also a later copy." - Roger Vaughan


Problem 3 - When was this photo taken?

This photo seems to be from the late 1870s or early 1880s but, if it is of Anne Browne WINGETT, then she was in her 60s.  She doesn't look that old to me?

Was she, therefore, wrongly identified? 

I was curious about the ringlets.  When did ladies wear their hair like this?

Click on the photo to see a larger version and a scan of the reverse - design B. Holmes, Carmarthen, printed by Marion.

Solution

"This lady is c.1873 (heavy look to the dress and fringe on the
chair), a copy made c.1879. (it says 1878, and square corners ) and the
pre 1880 marion date code. This is the era of false hair, so take away the
false ringlets and the face is much older." - Roger Vaughan


General Solution

"So what does this all mean? perhaps someone was given a photo album in about 1878, and to fill it, took in all the family (older format) photos to be copied at Devine's, and somewhere, got a reprint of ABW, and the RAE." - Roger Vaughan

 

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