Two women posing in a rowboat in Montrose, Scotland

Click here to view it larger.

Click here to see the back.

What it is:

Carte de visite (CDV) measuring 2 x 4 inches.

What I know about it:

Photographer is William Gray, “successor to” J. A. Duncan, of Montrose, Scotland.


I haven’t actively collected photos since pre-Covid times. But today, I impulsively walked into an antiques store I hadn’t been to before, where I found a box of old photos. I asked the owner how much each of the photos were, and she told me I could have the whole box for a price so low she was obviously trying to get rid of them. I couldn’t resist. I haven’t had a chance to properly sort them out, but just a quick glance is showing me faces and places occurring more than once, which excites me more than a completely random assortment of images. There are, for example, others from Montrose. I assumed this to be, say, Montrose, Colorado, until I googled a bit and found that this studio was located in Scotland. If you look at the back and see how a rubber stamp indicates that William Gray took over from J. A. Duncan, it suggests that if I could figure out when this change of proprietorship happened, I might have a ballpark date for this image. Meanwhile, there’s the image itself. The photo has obviously seen better days, but I think the image is too fun not to share.

2 comments on “Two women posing in a rowboat in Montrose, Scotland”

  1. Studio “boat” pictures are fun! They seem to have been popular for a while in Europe. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one from an American studio.

    You were right to take the whole box, of course. The photos may have come from an album. Some antiques dealers will take the photos out and sell the album itself. Empty albums are of no interest to me. Who has room for those?

    • I love the lengths studios sometimes went to create these artificial settings. Americans came up with some creative ones, but you’re right, I don’t remember seeing any “boats”. (Not that my knowledge is comprehensive.)

      The photos are all different sizes, from a variety of time periods, so I’m guessing they weren’t all in an album. And I agree, an album full of photos is a lovely thing, but I’m not interested in empty albums.

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