Friday, May 18, 2012

Photo Friday: German Victorian Edition

Good morning, kids and kidoo's, what's the scoop? It's Friday! As usual, I have estate sales waiting for me at all corners of Davidson County, but I wanted to show you these weirdo strange-o photos I found in a box of keepsakes from high school while cleaning out the attic.

In the pre-estate sale days of my life (how quaint!), my dad and I did a lot of antique store roaming for weekend trips with my mom and sister, digging through back rooms with nary an item priced, horse saddles hanging from the ceiling, and treasures waiting to be unearthed from makeshift booths in former forties' car dealerships and groceries. The photos above and below were from an otherwise deeply disappointing store in the town square at Lebanon, full of teddy bears dressed up in Gibson girl hats, scented candles, etc, etc. In an apple barrel (those things are so popular for antique booth chic!), were dozens of photos sealed in mini-ziplock bags. I was a little interested in the older photos, and then, flipping them over, I was VERY interested when I saw that almost all of them were taken in Germany!

Plus, how gorgeous are the backs of these cabinet cards? "Gegrundet 1870" means "founded in 1870", from what I can tell, but the rest is a mystery...possibly a list of awards? And telephone number (this must have been a very early telephone! 1890's/1900's at the latest! Jeez louise!). As for the woman pictured, what geisha-like attention to hair you think the kind of ball-shapes to either side are combs? Also, I wish I had a pintucked, cut out shirtwaist of this kind. Talk about things you never, ever see in real life...I think I've only seen Victorian clothes for sale maybe two times at sales...and for museum prices. Which I guess is fair, but how I wish it was the fifties' where that stuff was everyWHERE.

 The other card:

I like the handwritten-ness! And the woman's child-sized body. The slight difference in clothing styles from what you would see in an American woman's portrait cabinet card is interesting...see the ruffles at the bodice's cuffs and bottom, and the skirt's slightly raised hemline...and how drastic this woman's coiffure is in comparison with the last! Do you see the face on the side of the pedestal? Eeek!

Just for fun, this slightly later photo was from the same buying excursion. 1910's? Slightly earlier? Check the proto-bouffant, the straightforward gaze of the subject, the bearskin rug and art nouveau chair arm. Did I mention there's a set of pockets or at least flaps at the very bottom of this woman's skirt? LOOK AT THEM. What are their purpose?

Do you have many truly O-L-D photos in your collection? What date range do you tend to look for, or are you just a magpie like me when it comes to scooping up whatever catches your eye?

Also: Guys! I got to meet some fellow retro bloggers in real life! And I may have a giveaway in the works! This will make an exciting set of posts next week, will it not? I gotta get gone, but have yourselves a merry little Saturday and Sunday, and I'll see you on the other side of the weekend! :)


  1. oh my. I really liked the last picture. she's so pretty! as always, i loved this photo friday, but i did like this interesting edition. My family came over here from Germany/Prussa so i'm into these kinds of things!

  2. Those are beautiful! I inherited a bunch of really, really old photos that aren't actually family members. I think my Grandfather just collected them or something? I usually gravitate towards 50's towards 70's but love to look at any of them.

  3. i think i know which antique store you mean in lebanon. have you be to cuz's???? with the alien head in the window? and all the crazy taxidermy. i love that place, but i've never bought anything. it is so creepy i feel like the stuff in there is cursed!\i don't have many really old ones, maybe the 30s are my oldest? i try to just pick up certain categories, but sometimes i don't stick to it.

  4. These are some pretty cool photos. I used to collect antique postcards, and marveled at the cursive script and beautiful sentiments of the good ol' days. Might have to start collecting those again.

    It was great to meet you at the blogging event!

    What Lola Wants

  5. This is awesome! Have you heard of a book called "Dressed for the Photographer"? It's a huge, coffee-table sized book about dating historic photographs from the clothes and hairstyles of the people within them. It's really well done!

    1. I picked that up at the library a while back just to oggle the hairstyles and outfits, but that's a great idea, I might be able to use that to put a better date on some of my photographic finds. Thanks for reading and commenting! :)



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