** Ireland Irish boys wear unidentied family

Unidentified Irish Family (1890s)

Figure 1.--Here we see three unidentified children from Clones in Ulster. Note the white collars and bowties. Their clothing is indestinguishable from those worn by English children at the time. The portrait is undated. We would guess the portrait was taken in the 1890s, but one observer suggests the 1880s.

We have just begun to acquire information on Ulster families. We note an unidentified family from Colones. This is asmall town located on what would become the borderlands between the Republic (Southern) Ireland and Ulstrer (Northern Ireland). The portrait shows three children, two boys and a younger child we are not sure about. The portrait seems to have been taken in the 1890s. The children seem dressed rather like English children at the time. Thetwo older boys wear collar buttoning suits with white collars and bowties. The younger child wears a dress and pinafore with pantalettes.


We know that the portrait was taken in Clones so the children presumably lived there. Clones is located in the north of the Irish Republic. It is located in the west of County Monaghan. It was one of three Ulster counties which chose to go with the Republic of Ireland when Ireland was partotioned (1921). The name of the county from the Irish, "Muine Cheain " whoch means Land of the little hills. And little hills or drumlins are prevalent in the couty. The hills are the result of glacial action from the last Ice Age. The principal town is Monaghan. Other towns include Carrickmacross, Castleblayney, and Clones. Nearby Monaghan is notable as the birthplace of the poet and writer Patrick Kavanagh whose work is largely set in the county. Kavanagh is regarded as perhaps the most important mid-20th century Irish poet. His beautiful poems "Stony Grey Soil" and "Shancoduff" are based on the county. Clones is notable as the site of a monastic settlement in the kingdom of Dartraige Con-innsi (6th century AD). The monastary was destroyed after King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries as part of his asault on the Catholic Church. Clones is located in the border area of the Republic of Ireland. It was the location of a confrontation between the Ulster Special Constabulary and the Irish Republican Army (February 1922). The so called "Clones Affray" for a time threatened to undo the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The British Government temprarily suspended the withdrawal of British troops from the new Free State. Clones itself was adversely affected by partition. Clones was cut off from the markets to the north.


The portrait here was a CDV. CDVs continued to be popular in Europe well after it had largely disappeared in the United States. The photographer was J. Galway. It is a beautifully posed portrait. Clons was a very small town, but Galway was a very talented photographer.


The portrait is undated. It is clearly tken in the late 19th century. We would guess it was taken in the 1890s, although the 1880s is certainly possible. Both the portrait format and clothing suggest that it was taken about 1890. A HBC reader writes, "There are elements of the 1880s. I would guess maybe the late-1880s."

The Children

Here we see three children They are unidentified. Theu look to be about 4-9 years of age. The two oldest children are clearly boys and dressed identically. We are less sure about the younger child who at first glance seems to be a girl. There are two indicators that suggest that the younger child may be a younger brother. Note both the side hair part and the belt on the pinafore. A HBC reader believes the child is agorl. She writes, "The two boys are dressed alike. I simply think that if the third child would be also a boy the clothes would be more similar to that of the older brothers. This style of pinafore is more a girls thing. Not a strong indicator but I think the face looks more girlish. The short hair is not an indicator for a boy because at the end of the 1880s short hair was fashionable for girls. As for the belt, to me it does not look like a belt, more like a narrow sash. Sashes were very popular in the 1880s." The portait suggests that the children were very close. Note how thecyounger child is leaning into his or her older brother for support. Also notice how the younger child is holding hands with the younger brother. It is difficult to know to what extent this was posed, but the children are clearly confortable with it.


The two boys are dressed identically in collar buttoning suits. They have white collars which seem to be similar to Eton collars. I'm not sure you would actually call these Eton collars as they do not seem ti be stiff collars that sttod up. The boys wear their collars with bowties. We are not sure about the color od the suits. They are knee pants suits worn with long stockings and high-top shoes. The younger child seems to be wearing a pleated dresswith an embroidered pinafore/ There seem to be shoulder bows or leading strings on the pinafore. Note the belt on the pinagfore. One would think that the pinafore would be taken off for the portrait, but perhaps this was seen as a dressy pinafore. The younger child also wears pantalettes. Like the older boys, the younger child wears long stockings.


We are not sure about the props on the floor. The darl item looks to be one the boy's sailor caps, although it seems rather large. We are not at all sure about the loghter item. Hopefully HBC readers may have some ideas here.


Related Chronolgy Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[The 1880s] [The 1890s]
[The 1900s] [The 1910s] [The 1920s] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1950s]
[The 1960s] [The 1970s] [The 1980s]

Related Style Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[Long pants suits] [Knicker suits] [Short pants suits] [Socks] [Eton suits] [Jacket and trousers]
[Blazer] [School sandals] [School smocks] [Sailor suits] [Pinafores] [Long stockings]

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Created: 7:48 PM 9/24/2008
Last updated: 1:01 AM 9/26/2008