Figure 1.--This studio portrait is undated, but the mount suggests it was taken after the turn of the 20th century, perhaps about 1910. The boy seems to have written his name on the back--Allan Victor Mackenzie. We believe he is a Scottish boy, both because of his name and his Highland outfit.

Mackenzie, Allan Victor (Scotland, about 1910)

This studio portrait is undated, but the mount suggests it was taken after the turn of the 20th century, perhaps about 1910. The boy seems to have written his name on the back--Allan Victor Mackenzie. We believe he is a Scottish boy, both because of his name and his Highland outfit. One question we have is how common kilts were in Scotland. Note that the outfit here is a formal costume, not clothes that Allan would normally wear. While we believe that Allan is Scottish, the portrait was not taken in Scotland. It was taken in in a High Street studio at Rhyl. This is a coastal town in northern Wales near Liverpool. Rhyl is a seaside town located in the Clwyd estuary on the Irish Sea. Rhyl was a small traditonal Welsh seaside town. It developed during the 19th century into an elegant Victorian resort. This may explain why a Scottish boy had his portrait taken there on the High Street. Since World war II the character of the town has changed markedly.

Chronology

This studio portrait is undated, but the mount suggests it was taken after the turn of the 20th century, perhaps about 1910. The 1905-10 period wouls be a good guess, cerainly before World War I. As the Highland kilt is a costume, it cannot be used to date the image. The paper fram is more helpful, although we are more comfortable with dating American than British frames.

The Boy

The boy seems to have written his name on the back--Allan Victor Mackenzie. We believe he is a Scottish boy, both because of his name and his Highland outfit. He looks to be about 4-5 years old. The fact that he wears an expensive Highland outfit and has his portrait tke in a High Street studio suggest that the family was affluent. A seaside vacation at Rhyl also suggests that the family was affluent.

Outfit

Allan wears an elavotate Highland kilt outfit. He seems to have a Glengary cap, but with some kind of bow rather than an eagle father. He seems to have an Eton collar and tartan bowtie. He has a black military jacket which is covered up with a tartan shoulder sash. It also covers a small sporan. He also has tartan knee socks and high-top shoes.

Scottish Kilt Usage

One question we have is how common kilts were in Scotland during the Victorian/Edwardian era before World War I. We are also interested in the social class connotations. Note that the outfit here is a formal costume, not clothes that Allan would normally wear. He has been dressed up for the portrait. Thus we do not know what he would have normally worn.

Rhyl, Wales

While we believe that Allan is Scottish, the portrait was not taken in Scotland. It was taken in in a High Street studio at Rhyl. This is a coastal town in northern Wales near Liverpool. Rhyl is a seaside town located in the Clwyd estuary on the Irish Sea. Rhyl was a small traditonal Welsh seaside town. It developed during the 19th century into an elegant Victorian resort. This may explain why a Scottish boy had his portrait taken there on the High Street. Since World war II the character of the town has changed markedly. Many people from Liverpool and Manchester moved to Rhyl after World War II. This has changed the make up of the town and surrounding area. What had once been a traditional Welsh town where the Welsh language was prevalent has become a suburban community for the large cities of Liverpool amd Manchester.






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Created: 8:11 PM 9/30/2007
Last edited: 8:11 PM 9/30/2007