Old abandoned photo’s

Despite having a suitcase full of my own family photographs I also love rooting through those for sale in junk /antique shops. My other half usually manages to drag me away before I make a purchase , we are desperately trying to de-clutter our house– without much success ! However I was in such a shop in Penzance recently and came across a box full of photographs . What stories they could tell , who were all these individuals looking back at me from the past? Talking to the owner she too could not understand why photographs are abandoned , what were the circumstances that led them to being sold for just a £1 each in such a shop? She also had on display a wonderful framed Victorian era photograph , hidden behind the frame she found another print of a family , she admitted she had priced it rather highly at £90 as she really did not want it to be sold. Hubby drew the line at me purchasing this , rather to the relieve of the shop owner I think , I hope whoever eventually owns it cherishes it. I bought just 3 photographs which appealed to me and I felt drawn to , each subject stares directly out of the frame , I felt a connection yet I have no idea who they were , how their lives spanned out.

I’m not too sure what era they are from, any thoughts would be much appreciated. I think the pretty young girl dates from possibly the early 1900’s , it appears to have been taken in a studio , an (?) aspidistra can just be made out at the bottom left hand side. The rather dapper young men could possibly be in Edwardian clothing, I wonder who took the photo , there is a shadow on the left hand bottom corner is that the photographer, and where they were ? The bathers are possibly a small family unit perhaps in the 1930’s . At first I mistook the figure in the middle to be a young boy but think it is actually a young girl with a swimming cap on. What I find particularly interesting about this is that the two outside figures appear to me perhaps father and son , and if so who took the photo ? Mum ? . What happened to them , what events led to this image ending up being sold in a seaside shop?

Found photo001

Found photo004

Found photo003

So many questions but no answers yet despite their ambiguity there are still stories that can be told and knowledge gained. What of their function as an aide-mémoire ? I shall return to the function of found photography when I have done some more research.

I found a link (below) how to date a photograph.



2 thoughts on “Old abandoned photo’s

  1. Catherine

    Hi Judy, this may seem odd but the pretty young girl reminded me somewhat of photographs I’ve seen of your granddaughter. Maybe that struck a chord with you also. She is wearing a large cross so I wondered if it was to do with being Confirmed but, then, her dress is dark.
    I think the figure in the middle in the bottom photograph is a girl because of the stance.
    Thanks for the link. It didn’t work because a word is missing (I think) I found this though http://blog.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/tag/date-a-photograph/


  2. Judy Bach Post author

    Hi Catherine , I have amended the link –I had missed a bit of it off the end , thanks for telling me. Re the photo of the young girl she reminded me initially of my dad , and of my paternal grandmother as a girl , she had very long dark hair (all my father’s side of the family were dark haired). My mum hadn’t seen the photo until today and I asked her who she though it looked like , she initially said my dad then commented she was very much like Maisie (my eldest granddaughter whose pics you have seen) –and the more I look the more I can see a clear resemblance –no wonder I was drawn to it ! . You are correct about the girl in the middle of the bathers – I have looked closely and it is definitely a girl.



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