Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sepia Saturday 181: 15 June 2013 - May I broach ...?

Today's Sepia Saturday subject is bodily adornment.

This first photo is of my maternal grandmother Kit Forfar.  She is wearing pearls, pearl earrings, a gondola brooch and a rather fetching pair of adorned glasses.  I'm guessing this photo was taken circa 1950s - Kit died April 1958.

I still have the gondola brooch.  

Look here it is in my collection...

Brooches have been much discussed at work this week as one of our colleagues (who has a very fine collection) has been sporting them on her lapel daily.  

If you look up the meaning of brooch in my husband's delapidated dictionary from school days (Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English - Fourth Edition 1951) it says:

n. ornamental, jewelled.  etc., safety-pin for fastening some part of female dress, esp. the neck. [ME broche = BROACH] 

and of course broach (or the first meaning of broach in same dictionary) means:

n. Roasting-spit; church spire rising from tower without parapet; boring-bit. [ME & F broche= It. brocca cf. L brocci dentes projecting teeth; var. of BROOCH]

I like the second meaning too which is the transitive verb (I think) meaning:

Pierce (cask) to draw liquor, begin drawing (liquor); open & start using (bale, box, cargo, etc.); begin discussion of, moot, [subject. of.prec.]

Anyway what I'm trying to say is brooches are a good conversation starter or ice-breaker - which is a good thing to have when one works in libraries. e.g.

 "Wow!  What a fabulous brooch.  Did you need some help?"

Or photography.  

e.g. "That's a nice brooch.  Could you just sit three-quarters on for me please?"

Back to relations wearing adornment.  So Kit, pictured above, had a twin sister Bell.

Here she is...adorned in coral I think.

Here's a photo of the twins together - adorned with hats, glasses, necklaces, gloves, corsages, handbags and the like...goodness!  What a production it must have been going out the front door every morning.  I'm exhausted just looking at this photo.  

Here are some other portraits I found today...not so cheerful perhaps as Kit and Bell but worthy of observation nonetheless.

Who is in the portrait above?  Well, one of my great Aunt Bell's daughters, Joy, married a Ray Jeffrey and this is a portrait I think of his grandmother .  I'm pretty sure she is wearing a cameo and isn't that a gorgeous big bow at the back of her head?

In this funeral card you can see the more devout adornment of a cross on my great-aunt's neck. I wrote about her in this blog here.

The photo in the funeral card came from this photo here I think.

It doesn't look like there is much adornment here but when you enlarge the photo I spy a cameo on the old lady.

This is what is written on the back of this photo

Which if you try and read the writing I think it says 
(do they mean place or person??)  
"15 x 11 Bust. Also copy old lady for print and enlargement."  
And down the side it says 
"Mrs M McLoughlin."  

I don't know who the old lady is.  Is it Margaret's mother or grandmother?

This portrait is another perennial favourite of mine.  Eleanor Cook from my father's side of the family.  I have written about her here.  Plenty of adornment in this photo. 

Here's another lovely simple portrait of my paternal grandmother's sister - Daisy Carrett.

Sorry - it's a copy of photo rather than the original so I can't really see the pin or brooch clearly.

But it's very Gatsby don't you think?  Have you seen the movie?  Did you like it?

But when it comes to adornment...this is my favourite kind....

Here I am with one of my beloved cats - Tillie (short for Matilda) - this was taken in the backyard of our house in Aranda I think c.1970.  Dear Tillie - she was always a bit mad or highly strung as can be seen in this photo...

I'm looking forward to adorning myself with my BFF's cat shortly.  I'd better hop in the car now and head north.  For more sepia portraits click here.


Kristin said...

I think the young lady with the big bow looks rather frail or laced tightly into a corset.
The sisters look ready for church or a day out on the town. They probably didn't dress up like that everyday.
You look cute wearing your cat :)

Brett Payne said...

Your posting of the funeral card together with the original cabinet card or carte de visite portrait that it was taken from is of great interest to me, particularly as the annotations on the back appear to relate to reproduction. I think it must say, "Young girl 15x11 Bust" although I'm not sure what units the 15x11 were in. It seems very likely to me that the older woman is Margaret's mother, and that at some time an enlarged portrait must have been done of her from this image.

Boobook said...

I'm guessing Kit and Belle were off to a wedding of a close family member.

Bob Scotney said...

The photos of Daisy Carrett and Eleanor Cook are delightful.

Karen S. said...

Yes, you may broach! Thanks for such delightful photos and remarks!

Postcardy said...

The funeral card is very interesting, expecially in combination with the original photo.

Tillie is a cute adornment.

Wendy said...

I inherited a gondola pin too although I don't recall seeing anyone in my family ever wear it.

Eleanor Cook's pose is the most unusual I've ever seen for that period.

Alex Daw said...

Kristin I agree about Ray Jeffrey's relation looking frail. and yes, I think the twins must have been going somewhere special. I liked seeing myself with a waist as well as a cat :)

Alex Daw said...

Hi Brett I suspect you are right....there are bits of what look like postage stamps on the back of the photo probably covering the word girl. I love the detective work in this exercise.

Alex Daw said...

I think you might be right Boobook and I'm going to compare this photo with others to see if I can figure it out.

Alex Daw said...

Oh Bob I'm glad you like them. The one of Daisy is particularly charming I think.

Alex Daw said...

Tee here. I shall be using the word brooch/broach on a more regular basis now I think.

Alex Daw said...

I didn't realise until I wrote this post that it belonged to my grandmother. I just thought it was my mother's brooch. So I 'm really pleased to have gone through this exercise.

I agree about Eleanor's pose ....bold is the word that comes to my mind.

Alex Daw said...

Yes Postcardy this was perhaps the most exciting find in the process of doing this post. I have inherited so much stuff of this nature but it is very disorganised and I look forward to having more opportunity to get it in order.

Little Nell said...

A really interesting post, but Kit and her jewellery are the true gems here.

Nigel Aspdin (Derby, UK) said...

Of all the photos my favourite, for reality, is you and Tillie c 1970. it may be a snap but it conveys much more than a portrait.

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Little Nell - it was a bit of a hotch potch wasn't it? Done very quickly I'm afraid with not much thought but Kit's portrait leapt out at me - saying "Pick me!" "Pick me!"

Alex Daw said...

Oh well Nigel now you can be my BFF too ;) No really - it caught my eye for some reason on Saturday morning and I thought "What the heck. You can go in too." It is I think, whilst still posed (my mother did love arranging us for photos), fairly natural.

Tattered and Lost said...

Love the peacock brooch. I have a group of them outside my door right now yelling at each other. Their beautiful but oh such noisy birds. Especially the females who sound at times like donkeys.

Alex Daw said...

That peacock brooch is one of my favourites. Yes we had a peacock take up residence in our front porch one Christmas. We felt very special until we realised that our porch had become its toilet effectively !