This 1885 cabinet card features two brothers in a portrait with a seaside motif. One child, seated on a burlap 'rock' wears a white dress and appears to be holding a stick or fishing rod. His older brother holds a hoop. Note the seashell on the ground and the sailboat on the ocean backdrop behind. The boys look to be about 3-6 years old. A reader thinks he is a little older. Both boys have wide-brimmed hats. Notice that the younger boy has the hat with the widest brim. The yonger boy seems to bewearing a dress, but a very plain one. Also notice his ringlets. His older bother wears a kilt suit. Notice the small size of their bows. If the portrait had been taken a year or two later we would expect much larger bows. Notice the older boy's low-cut shoes. They were not very common. The studio G.H. Nickerson in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Note that Provincetown is misspelled, but the sudio did not send them back to the printer.
This cabinet card was taken in 1885. The studio was kind enough to date the portrait in the information on the card mount. So we have a definitive date to work with.
The portrait has a seaside motif. The studio has created a set to look the seaside. his of course is in keeping with the location--Provincetown, Massachusettes. Note the seashell on the ground and the sailboat on the ocean backdrop behind. This suggests tht the boys' family are tourists and came to Provincetown to enjoy the seaside. They probbly had opies made to send to family and friends.
Provincetown is a New England town located at the very tip of Cape Cod in Barnstable County, Massachusetts. At the time this portrait was taken, the town was changing from a fishing village to what it is today, a popular seaside resort town. The locals refer to it as 'P-town' or 'P'town'. meica in 1885 was in he throws of its industrial transformtion.
Great welth was being creatd and the idea of a summer vacation was beginning to take it modern form. And the railroads were mking it possible for Americans to reach isolated areas at minor costs. The town at the time was known for its beaches, harbor, and sailing. The artists for which the town is also known today had just begun to arrive. .
The boys here are unidentified. There is no information on the card beyound the printed studio mount.I think we can be certain, however, that they were brothers.
The boys look to us to be be about 3-6 years old. A reader thinks boy at the right he is a little older. Estimating ages it is difficult. We would go with age 6 years. We thin 7 years is possible, but we would not agree with age 8 years. There is of course no defintive way to age the children in these old photographs. And there are individual differences with some children looking older or younger than there chronolohical age.
The two boys here are dressed similarly, but there are differences. The one identical item is the long stockings. They are dark, but probbly not black We are unsure about the actual color.
The younger brother is seated on a burlap 'rock' and wears a white summer dress with velvet collar and cuff trim. He appears to be holding a stick or fishing rod. Perhps it is the stick for the hoop. A stick an hoop was a popular toy at the time. Notice that the younger boy has the hat with the widest brim. The yonger boy seems to bewearing a dress, but a very plain one. Also notice his ringlets. H The younger boy seems to have a slip or Gertrude on under his dress. This was very common at the time.
The older brother holds a hoop. Both boys have wide-brimmed hats, but the older brother's hat has a much smaller brim. Notice the small size of their bows. If the portrait had been taken a year or two later we would expect much larger bows. He wears a kilt suit. The outfit includes a collar buttoning, collared jacket with Norfolk vent/pleat features. Unlike many kiltsuits, this one is done in a light materil for summer wear. Note the ruffle or picot trim at the sleeve. For some reason mother has not lined up the simulted front pannel of the kilt skirt properly. Also notice the older boy's low-cut shoes. They were not very common in America at the time.
We see some jewelry here. The older boy is wearing a ring. Also he has a locket. It is likely that both were gold. We are surptised that the younger boy did not have a locket as well, but we do not see one.
The studio G.H. Nickerson in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Note that Provincetown is misspelled, but the sudio did not send them back to the printer.
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