Here’s a thoughtful young lady in about 1912; in need of support, as her little legs probably grew tired waiting for the photographer to frame his shot. I wonder if there were any impatient sighs. Her hair is short as she’s only about two and a half, but look at that charming ‘kiss-curl’ in the middle of her forehead. She’s wearing a simple linen dress, appropriate for a toddler at that time, but a pretty little crocheted collar to take away the plainness. I wonder what colour her boots were, probably a soft brown leather. Who is this little charmer? It’s my late mother-in-law, Mary, in one of a handful of infant pictures we have of her.
Here she is a few years later, as a young woman. She’s aged about seventeen, in the first one, but perhaps a little more mature in the one on the right. It looks as though she still needs support and it would appear that she is leaning on the same small table. She was always an elegant lady and before her marriage she was a fashion buyer for a large department store in Manchester; her sense of style is evident here. By now she would have learned to curb any irritation with the photographer and she is confident and relaxed. It doesn’t mean that a small sigh did not escape her lips at some point however.
Our Sepia Saturday prompt this week is of a thoughtful young lady, also clearly in need of support, as she leans on a faux mantelshelf. Perhaps it was the weight of all that hair that was too much for her! It reminds me of the quote from Shakespeare’s 'Romeo and Juliet’:
“See how she leans her cheek upon her hand.
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!”
Says Romeo as he gazes up at his love on the balcony. Juliet of course is lost in thought and sighs:
Grace Sutherland, here in the original cdv (1890) from which the prompt picture was taken, may well have been sighing “Ay me” herself. She was one of The Seven Sutherland Sisters, who lead an amazing life. You can read more in this Collectors Weekly article, where you can see more thoughtful poses and young ladies, leaning on a variety of objects.
Join other Sepians this week as they comb through their collections in search of the perfect match for the prompt