Pensive woman from Horsham, England

What it is:

Carte de visite (CDV) measuring 2.5 by just under 4.25 inches.

What I know about it:

Photographer is Thomas C. Bayfield of Horsham, County of Sussex, England.  Otherwise undated and unidentified.


A reader comment a couple days ago wondered about the nature of the furniture in this post, and though I don’t know for sure, I think it might be designed for kneeling in prayer.  So here above is an example of what I mean, sort of a “serving suggestion” for this piece of furniture, though the design is obviously more ornate, and we can’t see the whole thing to be sure what it looks like, or if our woman here is even kneeling.  Though I’m only guessing what this photo depicts, the impression I get is more a woman engaged in pious reflection than a woman breezing through the latest novel.  I’m kind of bummed about the damage, the spots on her face, but they are mostly visible in the enlargement, not so obvious just holding it in your hand, and I think she still comes through nicely.  By the way, you can see other examples of this photographer’s work here, and the plate on the back of my CDV is the same as the third one, toward the lower right, dated circa 1880.

4 comments on “Pensive woman from Horsham, England”

  1. It’s called a prie-dieu, lit. praying to God.

  2. Your grandfather, who took hundreds of communion pictures, built a prie-dieu and posed the first communicants on it. The child would kneel with his/her hands holding a prayer book and rosary on the arm rest. His was not very ornate but served the purpose.

    • That do-it-yourself furniture building spirit sounds like him. 🙂 Some day it would be fun to see more of the photos he took that weren’t family photos.

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