This English cabinet card portrait shows an unidentified boy wearing a cut-away velvet suit with knicker pants. The huge collar is done in an Eton shape, but it is not an Eton collar. Both the size and material are different. The flowers suggest a new Easter suit. The prtrait is undated, but the mount style suggests it was taken about the turn of the 20th century. The boy looks to be about 5 years old. The studio was J.A. Jones in Chelmsford and Walton on the Naze in Essex.
A reader writes, "This outfit I think is very interesting. Please note that it appears that the jacket lacks a lapel. The boy is obviously wearing a blouse so the knickers which appear to be velvet or satin are attached to a bodice of some sort. I think the boy is at his first communion from holding the book the way he is.
The bow is a classic solid color bowtie. He also wears a handkerchief in his jacket breast pocket. The boy wears long stockings (I think) and the bulge at the ankles suggests he is wearing long underwear. His shoes (although hard to tell) appear to be patent leather with ankle straps and a trim of material. I thought he was 6 but 5 could be more accurate." We would desribe the outdit somewhat diferently. Most cut-away jackets were done without lapels. We are not sure about First Communion. It ispossible, but usually the children wear some special items. The bow looks to us like the popular floppy bows worn during the 1890s, but by the turn of the century were declining in size. We agree that as he is wearing a blouse that there has to be somekind of waist supporting he pants. We think the suit is definitely velvet. The hosiery is difficult to be sure about. We think long stockings are the most likely. This is, however, the time that knee socks appeared, basically rolled down knee socks. The bulge in the knickers we think was simply the style. Theshoes are a litle indistincr, bt look to us like twin bar strap shoes. As for the age, we would guess 5 years old, but age 6 year is certainly a possibility.
Navigate Related HBC Pages:
[Collars] [Bows] [Cut-away jackets] [Blouses] [Knickers suits] [Long stockings] [Strap shoes]
Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to Main English collar age page]
[Return to Main English shirt/blouse collar page]
[Return to Main English shirt page]
[Return to Main English garment page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Photography] [Topics]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]