A. Balfour (Canada, 1898)


Figure 1.-- Here we have a portrait (taken at a professional studio in Montreal on December 2, 1898) showing Master A. Balfour in a big-collar Faunterloy blouse. The boy seems to be about 10 years old. The photograph gives us an excellent view of the blouse with its complicated full sleeves and ruffled cuffs.

Here we have a portrait (taken at a professional studio in Montreal on December 2, 1898) showing Master A. Balfour in a big-collar Faunterloy blouse. The boy seems to be about 10 years old. We do not know what kind of headwear that the boy here may have used. The portrait, however, show us the rest of his clothing. Adults of this era would not have been photographed in just a shirt, but blouses without suit jackets were seen as appropriate for children during the Summer. The photograph gives us an excellent view of the blouse with its complicated full sleeves and ruffled cuffs. It seems to have a large collar with lace or ruffled trim and matching white or pastel bow. The boy wears form-fitting, light colored knee pants (probably beige or tan) but apparently without the usual ornamental buttons at the knee--although we do not have a side view. This is higher than kneepants were normally worn. We are not sure if they are an olderpair or if this is an early appearance of short pants. Note that because the pants are cut rather short, this necessitates quite long black stockings--stockings that come well above the knee and that are undoubtedly held up with hose supporters and some sort of underwaist. The dressy shoes are also worth remarking on--very formal dress strap shoes with black ribbons that tie in a small bow. This was a popular style at the time. We refer to the shoes as strap shoes. Terminology at the time varied, we have seen sandals, slippers, and other terms used. The hair style looks fairly modern for the period--reasonably short and parted carefully on the left. Balfour is a Scottish name. (Literature buffs will recall David Balfour from Kidnapped and history buffs will recall the British prime Minister who enginered the addigation of Edward VIII.) Our Master Balfour must come from a wealthy Anglophone family in Montreal. This is a good example of how similar American and Canadian fashions could be. The way this boy is dressed is identical to how an American boy from a comparable family might have dressed.







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Created: 10:30 PM 9/23/2005
Last edited: 10:30 PM 9/23/2005