Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The one I couldn't let get away

I got interested in triple, or triptych, frames a while back, when I saw one featuring religious icons in a resale store.  I didn't buy it, but it got me interested in the whole triple-frame thing. And then in early December, I went to a flea market in a neighboring town.  I saw this triptych frame there:

OooOOOOh, prettttttty, I thought.  but I dunno.  It would seem kind of ... odd to have pics of people you don't know hanging in your home.  And then I thought, well, I could toss the pics and use the frame for something else, but it seems almost cruel to throw away other people's old photos.  Not to mention the whole dilemma of how do these photos end up in flea markets in the first place?!  Gah. Plus, I was square in the middle of one of my I-don't-need-any-more-STUFF phases, my presence at a flea market notwithstanding.

So I didn't buy the frame.  But I kept thinking about it.  This particular flea market is only open twice a month, so the next time it was open, right before Christmas, I went back to see if the frame was still there. 

But the table on which the frame had been displayed was covered - the seller was not there that day.  Drat!  Probably out of town for the holidays, I thought.

So the next time the flea market was open, two weeks later, I went back again.  I WOULD have that frame, dammit!  Except ... the table was covered.  AGAIN.  SH*T!

Last Sunday, the flea market was open again.  I decided that I would go back, ONE MORE TIME.  At this point I was fairly certain that I had spent more in gas shlepping back and forth to this flea market than it would have cost me to buy the frame in the first place.  Once more into the breach, my friends.  I went back.

I walked in, and the table ... was not covered!  The seller was back! She was setting up her stuff!  But ... would the frame be there still?

IT WAS!  The angels sang!  Almost giddy, I plopped down my eight bucks (yep - eight bucks) and bought the frame.  MinemineminemineALLMINE.

At first I thought it was a mom flanked by her kids, but on closer examination, I think the photo in the middle is of a young woman:

She doesn't look old enough to be the mom of the kids, does she?  (Please excuse the reflections.  I'm still figuring out the new camera.)

Her dress looks maybe ... 1910s?  1920s?

At first I thought these were two girls:

But I'm not sure.  The haircuts would indicate little boys (although I had a haircut JUST LIKE THAT at age five), and I know that boys wore dresses back in the day, so ... maybe these are boys?

Now, THIS one is a little girl, for sure:

Big bow in hair, big bows on shoes ... yep, it's a girl.  She is posed leaning on a chair, with some kind of leafy foliage behind her.  (I'll try to get better shots if anybody's interested.) The pic of the boys(?) does not have foliage in it, and shows a different piece of furniture, so I'm guessing the two photos were taken in separate studios.  I don't know if any of the photos were taken during the same time period, or if they were shot months or years apart.  And of course I don't know if these are all members of the same family, or if at some point along the line random pics were inserted into the frame.  The back of the frame is pretty fragile, and I'm afraid the whole thing would bust apart if I tried to remove the photos to see if there's writing on the back.

SO MANY MYSTERIES!  Obviously, I can't throw the pics away NOW - there's too many questions!  So the mystery family is hanging on my living room wall, facing the window so they can see outside.  I hope they like their new digs.


Domestic Kate said...

I'm pretty sure the two together are boys. It reminds me of a photo of my grandfather that my family has where he's in a dress. If he was a baby or toddler, that would have been around 1920.

When I see old photos, though, it reminds me of that scene from The Others where they find a photo album full of photos taken of dead people (and the ones they used for the movie were authentic, so they're REAL DEAD PEOPLE). Spooky.

By the way, I never thanked you for your Christmas card! Thank you!

James P. said...

I think the two are a girl and her little brother, based on pictures from my mother's family during the same years. They didn't have the boys in dresses past maybe age two-ish. And I think that young woman looks old enough to be someone's ma, for sure....Her neck looks like it has some miles on it. Glad I don't have to live with the kid with the white-bowed shoes....She looks permanently pissed.

rockygrace said...

Kate, I got this frame at the Owego Elks' Emporium - your old neck of the woods!

I actually have a dead-person photo. (OF COURSE I DO.) Turns out post-mortem photography was a thing, back in the day. The worst ones are where they prop up the body to get a "life-like" shot. Ick.

And you're welcome for the card!

Ginny, the kid on the left in that photo could go either way, imo. and yeah, that little girl does not look pleased. Maybe she wasn't a fan of giant bows.

~~Silk said...

Boys wore dresses until they were potty trained, for obvious reasons.

I am amused the your guardian angel tried SO HARD to prevent this purchase, and failed. Maybe it's haunted?

bridgett said...

My guess is that the two are a little girl (standing) and boy (seated on the mission table). The striped socks are a clue.

Yes, the woman could be the mother of the kids and there is some resemblance between the girl with the bows, the mother, and the kid seated on the table.

bridgett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rockygrace said...

~~Silk, "obvious reasons"? THIS IS WHY I NEVER HAD KIDS.

and the frame is NOT HAUNTED. I HAVE HAD IT WITH GHOSTS. Sheesh.

bridgett, another interesting theory! The one kid does look more girl-ish than the other.