Sepia Saturday 165: Mystery pics from Aarhus and Copenhagen


Sepia Sat 23 Feb

This week’s Sepia Saturday topic is a “Group Portrait of an Unknown Family”.

Among Mr Cassmob’s inheritance from his father is a batch of photographs with no known connection to his family. Many of them were taken in Denmark in the 19th century, a country where his family has no known links. On the other hand, one of these photos is annotated on the reverse with Cass Album 1. Why? Are they relevant to his family history after all? Did his father simply buy them from a stall when his parents were living for a year in Scotland?

I wanted to find a family photo but in the end I settled for two couples and an infant.

sepiasaturday005

The reverse of these photos.

The reverse of these photos.

Do you have any thoughts on the why or where? It’s a mystery to me!

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29 thoughts on “Sepia Saturday 165: Mystery pics from Aarhus and Copenhagen

  1. If these are not family, they are still wonderful examples of sophistication and great fashion of the period. But did someone put that child’s shoes on the wrong feet? (I have read that shoes once were made without a left and right design, but these seem to have a left and right.)

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    • Very observant Wendy, that hadn’t struck me. However I’ve now noticed the women are wearing the same cape with trim so I think this was a “dress up” kind of photographer….you know, go in wearing your own less glamorous clothes and be photographed looking like a different social class. Strange.

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  2. Lauritz Olsen.s studio was at Østergade 13 13, He has photos on the Danish State Archive flickr stream which date him there at 1864-1873, He was one of several photographers who took photos of prostitutes for the police when prostitution was being regulated back then. Østergade is now one of the streets in the Strøget, the car free zone in Copenhageb that makes up their main shopping area. I can’t help you on the identity of your unknows however.

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  3. Hi Pauleen – well I’m just stabbing in the dark here…did some family members go on a holiday/honeymoon to Denmark?…was a family member in business and traded with someone in Denmark? I know that due to religious persecution some people in England ended up going to live on the continent but it tended to be Holland. Denmark??? Why would I go to Denmark? Because Copenhagen is wonderful? Because I wanted a Danish open sandwich? But back to more important stuff – the shoes…Wendy I too was a bit stumped about the shoes on my boy’s feet – I think it looks like he’s got the right on the left and vice versa…I think it was just how they were made back then.

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    • Thanks Alex…laughed at the open sandwich ;-) If it had been among my family’s stuff I’d have had a theory to offer because one set of my lot were sailors and went across to Scandinavia regularly. But no, it’s himself’s lot. I still favour a random collection but who knows, perhaps I’m missing a vital clue. I made a comment about the shoes on Kristin’s comment which only just occurred to me, especially given the time frame Bob has provided.

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  4. There is more than one mystery there. I found it interesting that the couple are wearing the same clothes–something I didn’t notice until it was pointed out. The baby reminds me of the ones that “talk” in commercials.

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    • Too true Little Nell, the Sepians have excelled themselves with observations, information and advice. It’s amazing what we can “squeeze” from a photo or two, isn’t it?!

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    • They are Kathy -about the 1870s I think. I think they are total strangers -at least I hope they are -it would be so frustrating if they were family and I didn’t know it. Pauleen

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  5. Great images, great post and great comments : this is what Sepia Saturday is all about. I suspect 100 years down the line some distant relative of mine might be thumbing through a collection of very old photographs of mine and wondering who they could be of, when, in reality, I just saw them on a market stall and thought they needed saving.

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    • What a good idea Tattered and Lost, instead of being bewildered by all these photos we have the creative potential for some great short stories. I wonder what slant I’d take with these? Did they emigrate, marry, die young….

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