Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Doubles, Couples, Deuces and Pairs - Some Comments

view profile snapshotmelly says: I want that hat-I would wear it to church this Sunday.

view profile ART NAHPRO says: I think she has taken the seat in front of me at the cinema a few times.

Flickr stream anyjazz65 says: @snapshotmelly: Thanks! Wish I could send it!

@ART NAHPRO: I think she ALWAYS sits in front of me. She's already a couple inches taller than he is...

view profile ╬▓onne says: That hat make her bigger than her husband. Do you think he noticed?

view profile opie_jeanne says: That is Some Hat. The rule is that you wear the hat, the hat does not wear you. The hat is winning. It has taken over the picture and is almost more important than the people. The way this photo is staged, him slightly behind her, seated slightly lower than her, and combined with his expression make him look retiring, as if he is satisfied for her to take the lead.

view profile meagain625 says: Poor fellow. Paying for a photo of a hat... a bigger hat than he is, at that.

Flickr stream anyjazz65 says: @MyBonne: Yes, I have the feeling that he noticed...
@opie jeanne I think you are right. I noticed that her eyes are about two inches higher than his. The photo has been cropped however so I cannot tell if they are seated or standing. Either way, he surely looks content with his role and she looks quite happy to be in charge. You can bet she tied his tie and combed his hair for this portrait.

Flickr stream anyjazz65 says:@meagain625: Poor fellow. And you are right, he PAID for that hat! She's in charge but he looks perfectly content with that arrangement.

view profile meagain625 says: I almost would think he looks more resigned than content. She looks like a worthy opponent to anyone trying to tell her how to dress or act. Not a meaness, I don't think. Just a vision of how things should be in her life, and an unwillingness to allow a change she doesn't want. That hat could have been the one thing she prized, like a dress you save and save for staying in the closet for years, waiting for another opportunity to wear, or those pounds to fall off... It's just a shame they didn't find a way to equalize the sizes, for his self-esteem. Surely he heard the occasional snicker, or saw the looks on someone's face as they viewed this. Or, maybe he thought, "Let them see what they see. I know how things really are." :)

view profile ART NAHPRO says: My aunt married a lovely man who was considerably shorter than she was. In the wedding photograph the photographer somehow persuaded them that it would look better if my Uncle stood on a box so that he appeared taller than her. For years my mother had their wedding photograph on our dresser at home when I was growing up. On the rare times I saw my Uncle and Aunt (they lived in Sweden-we were in Africa) it was always odd to see my Uncle and Aunt in in their real proportions... Luckiliy she did not wear hats as far as I know.

Flickr stream anyjazz65 says: @meagain625: Ah yes, I see that now too. The one thing that does leave me curious is the pose. It was a more common pose for studio portraits for the woman to be standing while the husband to be seated. (Rarely the other way around.)

Family of two acts. Only occasionally have I found the couple to be both standing or seated unless there were children in the shot. When babies are in the shot, often both parents would be seated and the children standing or held in arms.

The family. Life is hard. The "hat" portrait is exactly the WIDTH of a cabinet card....but there is evidence on the reverse that it was first peeled away from the original mounting card, cut in about half and then remounted on a manila construction paper "scrapbook" page. (Ik..) (Ask opie jeanne what she thinks of THAT practice...) I found this one in a bowl of pictures at a large antique store in Waurika, Oklahoma. I think I should return one day soon. Perhaps the bottom half is still there and will solve some of the mystery. See what a few thought provoking comments do?

The Discussion is continued in the next column

This is my hat...I mean, my Wife.

Flickr stream anyjazz65 says:

@ART NAHPRO: Thanks. You are certainly more international than most of us. Your comment made me think again about the pose. Since the bottom half is missing I can make up whatever pose I want. Supposing the feature of the photo was to be HER hat and dress. Supposing he actually was considerably taller than her and is actually perched on a stool slightly behind her skirt in order to keep her the feature of the shot. In reality that would be a more common pose, though in most cabinet cards the man is seated and the woman is standing slightly behind him.

The Rocketeer says: Great title...

Flickr stream anyjazz65 says: Thanks. I think I caption these old treasures the same as most Found-Photo enthusiasts: The first thing that pops into your mind.

view profile Lucky Clov says: Re the above: Wife as possession of husband in the past! He's so Byronesquely beautiful!!

Flickr stream anyjazz65 says: Thanks for the visit, Lucky Clov. You are right. We have come a long way, we have a long way to go. I don't know if there is enough time left. By the way, this picture got as high as 165 on Explorer for the day.

view profile Frank Foran says: A marvellous image. We would love to have it posted on the new Economic and Social History Group - People and their Industry. Good work!

Flickr stream anyjazz65 says: Thanks Frank Foran. I will look into it right away.

view profile [kren] says: And Mrs. Mitchell stands (or sits) slightly in front of Mr. Mitchell.

Flickr stream anyjazz65 says: Good observation. In the bulk of these old husband/wife portraits of that period, the man is seated and the woman stands behind his chair and just to his left. About to Lose the hair...So rare to see the exception. The Mitchell photo is a crop of the original. The bottom edge is not a 'finished" edge.

The width is exactly that of a cabinet card photo and there is evidence on the reverse that it has been removed from some backing. If that is the case then it was not long enough to have been a full length portrait. If standing, they would have been cut off above the knees. But it is a stretch to imagine they were both seated too. She would almost have to be sitting on one of his knees. I suppose it is possible that they could have been crowed together on a prop stool or armless bench. That would get all of both into the frame. The other scenario would be that it was originally not a full length standing portrait, but somewhere around a 3/4 length. I have not seen another like that but it is a possibility.

view profile HuskyRusky says: What a well-chosen quote to go with the image!

view profile soozika says: This is funny. ... and a great title! ... ??!!

Flickr stream anyjazz65 says: Thanks again soozika. Laughing keeps us young and healthy.

Cleo and the Jodhpur Gang

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