This portrait was taken by Benedetti & Boccalini, located at Peckham, a London neighborhood. I'm not sure what kind of neighborhood Peckham was when this boy had his portrait tajen in 1881. The boy is Carl Roos, which doesn't sound much like an English name. It sounds more Dutch to us. Carl looks to be 5-6 years old. Unfortunately we don't know anything about Carl and his family. We would say, however, that he came from a prosperous family. Note the long, uncurled hair. Some English boys had ringlets, but it was not as common as in America. Both the long hair and the fancy sailor suit suggests this. Long hair more than a sailor suit is a strong indicator that Carl came from an affluent family. Note that he wears three-quarter socks rather than long stockings which would have been more common in America. Note the sailor hat he is wearing which is presumably a replica of a Royal Navy hat. We can not see it in the portrait, but there presumably was a long streemer at the back. There are several interesting aspect to Carl's sailor suit. Note the plain black sarfe, loosely tied. This is quite different from German boys who had tightly tied scarves. Also notice the white lanyard. Almpst certainly a brass whistle is attched. Carl has a very plain dickey. Note the rank badge on the sleeve. I am not an expert, but it doesn't look British to me. There is an unusual usage of buttons on Carl's knee pants. Usually they are group togeher at the knee hem, emulating buttons on knee breeches. The buttons here are spaced out all along the leg. I have not seen this very commonly, but 1881 is fairly early. Conventions for boys were just becoming standardized.
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