4/15/2008

Photo of the week - Lady from Vienna, 1906




Date:
July 8th, 1906
Photographer: Strauss & Co
Provenience: Vienna, Austria

This is a photo of a woman somewhere in the mid 30's, early 40's, wearing modern clothes of a more practical type. She has a white blouse with a stiff collar of the type similar to what men were wearing at the time. The flirting with male clothing is continued with the neck-tie she is also wearing, complete with a tie-pin. The more feminine touche is achieved with the flowery pattern on the neck-tie.

To this she is wearing a practical, long skirt of a dark colour, but also here the more practical, male mode of dressing is inspiring - you can see a thin chain hanging at her waist, that is the chain to a pocket watch.

Despite the fashion at the time of having out-door settings for your photo this is striving to the opposite direction, stressing the indoor feel of the picture. The woman is sitting in an ornamented arm-chair with a high back, you can see a carpet on the floor, the background is totally neutral and she has a magazine in her lap. the woman is not reading it, but she is posed as she just has been talked into directing her attention from the article in front of her to the camera, and the viewer, instead.

On the photo is written a date, 8 / VII 06 (which of course is to be read as the 8th of July 1906), and above that a word that I have not been able to decipher. It could be a name or a word of some kind (considering the origin of the photo it is in all probability in German if that is the case).

Most old photos you buy can be found close to the place the photo was taken, but this is not really true for this one - it was taken in Vienna, and I found it in a flea-market in Berlin (but it was not so far off, of course, as the picture I bought in Copenhagen which was taken in Baku!).

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