Two women, two children, in the yard

Click here to view it larger.

What it is:

Two photos, each measuring 6.5 x 4.5 inches.


What I know about it:

No information.



Once again, persistently sorting through the jumbled bin of photos at my local used book store paid off.  The boy’s sailor suit was the initial clue that these photos belonged together.  Below is a third one I found.  I believe it’s the same two children in a different view of the same yard, but I can’t be completely certain.

Meanwhile, I enjoy looking at these people on what appears to be a pleasant summer’s day around late afternoon.  Enlarging the images showed me that they are in sharper focus than I first realized, allowing me to see clearer facial expressions, and even things like the stitching on the older woman’s dress.  My assumption is that we are looking at two siblings, their mother, and their grandmother.  But without identification, it could be all sorts of combinations.  I’m also not certain if the youngest child is a boy or a girl, though I’m leaning towards boy.


7 comments on “Two women, two children, in the yard”

  1. Hello Matthew,
    the pictures are definitely from Nazi Germany. The boy’s sailor blouse bears an imperial eagle with swastika, though both as well as the sailor collar are not the “official” ones. Traditionally, the children’s sailor suites were an expression of German nationalism, typically produced by the Wilhelm Bleyle Co. in Stuttgart.

    • Goodness, I hadn’t even spotted that, but yes, I see it now on his left sleeve. Thank you for pointing it out, Günther, and for the extra information!

  2. I was also going to comment on the sailor suit, but for a different reason! Just to note that sailor suits sure were perennially popular garments for kids; they go back I think to the 1840’s. I hadn’t noticed the eagle and swastika; I had no idea that Nazi-branded sailor suits existed. That little symbol really puts a different construction on this whole scene.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t spot it. My brain must have mistaken it for a leaf or something, though it seems so obvious now that it’s been pointed out. I just looked up the clothing company that Günther referred to, and sure enough, they were apparently the main source of sailor suits for German children prior to WWII. It’s always so interesting to see how fashion can collide with history.

  3. This is certainly the same yard, with the same large canna (plant) in two of the pictures, and appears to me to be the same two children, but the boy is wearing different socks in the picture with the chair. Perhaps a different day, or perhaps he managed to get his feet wet.
    Fascinated to see the very deep hems on the women’s clothing. The side seam on the older woman’s dress was either stitched too tightly, or the thread shrank.
    Ordinary human details from another time.

    • Thanks, Christa. I agree, details like that are fascinating, and it can be moving to see humanness across time. It’s one of the reasons I sometimes prefer more candid photos to the formal portraits.

  4. […] I found these four last night, and they obviously belong with the ones I previously posted here.  Honestly, I likely wouldn’t have bought a few of these individually, but I couldn’t […]

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