Sometimes it all just comes together and goes BING! in your head.
I was reading an article in the July ’11 issue of Who Do You Think You Are magazine (which I, for some reason begrudgingly, find extremely informative every time I buy it). It was an article on the year 1857 from the British point of view. In it was an 1857 painting by Henry Nelson O’Neil called “Eastward Ho!” depicting British soldiers boarding a ship en route to fight is known as the Indian Mutiny. Looking at it I saw it bore a strong resemblence to a painting I studied (back in 1988) by a woman artist, Emily Mary Osborne, called “Nameless and Friendless” (1857). So I brought these two works up on my computer screen, and I realized I had a family ambrotype photograph that looked like it fit in nicely with these two works. I lined them up on my computer screen and here is the result:
Hannah, the centre photo, fits in nicely with the paintings, don’t you think? We have her ambrotype dated to 1859. Talk about consistencies in fashion and hair-dos. I think this is the late 1850s in a nutshell. A very satisfying connection all-in-all.