Victorian man from Brighton

What it is:

Carte de visite (CDV) measuring 2.5 x 4 inches.

What I know about it:

Photographer is Henry Spink of Brighton, England.  Otherwise undated and unidentified.


Having posted a Victorian woman, I thought I’d add a Victorian man.   I did a bit of internet searching on this one, partly to assure myself that the Brighton in question was indeed the one in England, and also to try to decipher the old-timey spelling of the photographer’s first name (Hy. means what?  Henry?  Hyram?)  Well, lo and behold, I came upon a website featuring a whole gallery of the photographer’s work!   This gallery shows the backs of the cards, which I haven’t been bothering to do (sorry, but I think this WordPress template only permits one image per post, and I’m too lazy/unskilled to try to put the front and back together as a single “image”).  So if you scroll down to the one mid-way down on the right labeled 1877-1878 (described as “portrait of a seated clergyman”) and look at the corresponding “trade plate” directly above it, that’s the same trade plate as the back of my photo.  So according to this website, that would date my photo to the late 1870s.  Pretty cool, right?  Rather than just reporting this information, I thought you might enjoy the process of discovery with me, and might enjoy comparing other examples of Mr. Spink’s work.  Not only do they help put this photo in the context of his overall body of work, but they help put the subject of this photo in the overall context of his community.

2 comments on “Victorian man from Brighton”

  1. I’ve heard before in England that if A queen is throned then gentlemen don’t grow beards, if there is a king then men grow beards. During your time period above Edward VII was in reign. Maybe there is truth to that. I’m assuming it was England though right?
    Through finding my great grandfather’s photo’s recently in an antique shop I now learned that he was also an inventor who still holds three patents for agricultural products. History is cool!

    • Yes, history is fascinating! Regarding the beards, it rings a bell, but I can’t recall what I heard, or if it’s true. In any case, this photo would actually be from the Victoria era, during the reign of Queen Victoria. Edward VII was alive then, but didn’t become king until after Victoria’s death in 1901. Such a challenge to keep them all straight sometimes, isn’t it? And that’s wonderful about your great-grandfather. We are all more complex than we at first seem, and it’s amazing what you can learn with a little digging.

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