Mr N and I are always on the look-out for interesting photographs. A box of old photos can usually be found at every antiques or vintage fair and is always worth rummaging through. Yesterday I found this antique carte de visite - a portrait of two boys, probably Anglo-Chinese, looking a little unhappy in their neatly tailored Western suits. People rarely look happy and relaxed in Victorian photographs, perhaps because they had to stay very still. Sometimes they managed to look mildly amused, like the lady in this daguerreotype.
We are told on the back of this ambrotype that these are twins...
The child in the frilliest frock is a girl, the other, similarly attired, is her brother. Individual photographs can be worth thousands - a few fetch over £1,000,000 at auction. But usually a pound or so will buy an evocative view or a portrait that stirs the imagination. If they could speak what would they say...?
"When I grow up I will be Holly Hunter and make a film called "The Piano"
"I thought I'd told you! NEVER touch me again!"
"Don't worry Mama, everything will be all right. We'll bury Papa in the garden just as soon as we've cleaned that stain off the floor."
"I'm a gamekeeper ma'am. D.H. Lawrence is planning to put me in one of them books he writes."
"I've trained him, tested him and now he's ready for action. If only he wouldn't insist on wearing those Mary Janes."
"At last, the opening ceremony's over. Anyone want to buy one of these signs?"
NB These photos are all from my own collection.