>Somebody’s grandmother, by Fred Smith of Chesterfield

>Image © and collection of Brett Payne
This carte de visite portrait of an unidentified elderly woman (with a look that you want to hide from) was taken by Fred Smith in his studio on the corner of Brewery Street and Tapton Lane, Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Smith was operating from those premises from c.1869 till c.1879, and judging from the square corners and design on the reverse of the mount, the studio setting and style of portrait, I estimate a date of no later than 1873.

Image © and collection of Brett Payne

Fred was actually Alfred Edward Smith, born in Coventry in 1846, who moved to Chesterfield in the 1860s, and married Scottish schoolteacher Martha Hughes in 1872. By 1881 they had left Derbyshire and were in Holdenhurst near Bournemouth (Hampshire).

It is possible that his studio was then taken over by the celebrated Chesterfield photographer Alfred Seaman, who operated from premises at that ocation from the late 1870s.

Image © and collection of Brett Payne
Post Script
I was indeed being a little unkind, but then I’m allowed to be a little provocative, occasionally, if it gets people commenting? An enlargement shows quite different left and right sides to her face. If you cover the right hand side, the baleful stare has almost disappeared and she looks substantially younger. I wonder if she’d had a stroke?


~ by gluepot on Tuesday, April 12, 2011.

5 Responses to “>Somebody’s grandmother, by Fred Smith of Chesterfield”

  1. >But she looks like she has great bone structure — I'd bet that she was a real beauty in 1720. Love your pictures, thanks for sharing so generously of pics and knowledge.

  2. >She doesn't look mean, just old and tired. I wonder how old she was.

  3. >I've added an enlargement of the photograph showing her face, and revealing perhaps a little more to the story.

  4. i love your website, and thanks for posting such interesting photos. You do a great job of describing this photo, i laughed, and then, i felt so guilty. I think she did have a stroke.

  5. Thank you Patricia. This one on WordPress is a mirror site, as a back up for my main Photo-Sleuth site on Blogger, which you can find here http://photo-sleuth.blogspot.com/

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