Photochromes can be so lovely to look at — this one is of a beach in France and dates from around 1890:
Photochromes pre-date colour photography and are a sort of cross between a photograph and a print. The heyday of these types of images was from around 1890 to 1910. With the invention of colour photography photochromes were rarely produced and most firms who made them went out of business by the 1930′s.
These Victorian women look to be from the same family and they — or their servants — must have spent hours putting together these elaborate hairstyles.
I know these hairstyles were probably very fashionable at the time but I think they are highly unflattering. The dresses, on the other hand, have got some trussed-up appeal but I’m not that keen on those wide cuffs (a pet hate). The women look as if they have great figures but most of that will be due to corsets (that seems quite a bitchy comment, when I read it back…).
Most photographs of Victorians show the sitters looking very serious and sombre but there’s a bit of a trend just now for publishing photographs of smiling Victorians. When you first see an image of someone of that period with a great big cheesy grin on their face it’s a bit of a jolt to pre-concieved notions but it’s lovely to see and goes a long way to break down the separation between the past and the present.
I particularly like this one because the woman looks quite cheeky and confident.