Peter Kunkel (United States, early 1880s)


Figure 1.--We have found two portraits of Peter Kunkel taken at about the same time. The portraits are undated, but we would guess the early 1880s, in part because of the small bow and dress style. Peter looks to be about 5-6 years old. He wears the same dress bodice in both portrais suggesting that the portraits were taken at about the same time. The principal difference in the two portraits is that they are taken before and after his first haircut. Click on the image to see the second potrait.

We have found two portraits of Peter Kunkel taken at about the same time. The portraits are undated, but we would guess the early 1880s, in part because of the samall bow and dress style. Peter looks to be about 5-6 years old. He wears the same dress in both portrais suggesting that the portraits were taken at about the same time. The principal difference in the two portraits is that they are taken before and after his first haircut. Note Peters very long hair carefully layed on his shoulder. Peter's hair is long, but not done into ringlets (figure 1). Families varied in the 19th century. Some boys were breached before having their hair cut. Others had their hair cut at the same time he was breached. Peter however has his hair cut before being breached. There are, however, two other minor differences. After his hair cut Peter has a small bow. Also the skirt part of his dress has been replaced by a pleated skirt. This probably was called a kilt and in the 1880s would have been considered more boyish than a skirt. It was a a kind of step up preparatory for breeching. recognizing his age. The boy's name was written on the back of each cabinent card. Peter looks to be at least 5-6 years old. The dress has a pleated skirt. Actually it does not look precisely like a pleated skirt but rather pleated skirtung appears to have been sewn on to the dress skirt. Had the portraits not be labeed and group together, we would have assumed that the first portrait was little girl and the second like a boy in a fancy dress. The photos were taken in Baltimore, Maryland in the same studio. A HBC reader thinks the two images may be brother and sister. She writes, "I think this a bother and sister wearing the same dress on the same day. Look at the brow line and the hare line the ears on the second photograph (click on the image). He clearly as a brow line she dose not, she as high eyebrows he as now eye brows if he dose they are not seen." It is possible that mother had dressed the children in identical dresses, but this is not something I have commonly seen. Alsoit should be remembered that lighting conditions can affect how light-colored hair shows in a photograph. Our reader writes, "The more I look at these two photos I am convinced that they are two different people. If you look at the girls hands they are larger, she also bigger in her size, then he is. Even the collar show a difference. If this is one boy, Then the short hair pictures was taken before the long hair photo. I think this is a brother and sister the sister being older also she appears to have small breasts."







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Created: February 24, 2004
Last updated: 6:41 AM 9/4/2005