wedding photograph is my choice to start the C20th selection of
100 years of wedding photographs.
The old photo was taken just 3 months before the
new C20th century dawned and has the known date of 13th September 1899.
taken at Lake House Farm, East Jarrow, in North East England. The
names are stated in the footnote.
It really is a delightful picture.
Because of the
known late 1899 date we can define this photo above as both a very late Victorian photo or as an early Edwardian photo. Yet
it is fair to say it has more in common with Edwardian fashion than
This wedding photo most certainly belongs in either late Edwardian or early Victorian period, but perhaps a better phrase to
use would be to call it a true Belle Époque photo. It has all the
fundamentals of gaiety hall dress of the naughty nineties.
As with so many old photos the majority of garments in this photo have
fashion minutiae that were all part of style in clothing within the 5 year
period 1897 to 1902. The sleeves have all moved just beyond the leg of
mutton style full sleeve shown in the wedding dress at the
1896 Van Cleef wedding.
The white wedding dress right is a design taken
from 1900 and has lots of lower sleeve fullness that blouses into floppy droopy
sleeves. The neckline is a high dog collar neckline and of course the
corseting is tight and
I would instantly date this wedding photo at an approximate year of 1900 due
to the two women on the far back left, the bride and other women are really
wearing dress styles of a few years before.
The lady at the back of the picture wearing a dark suit wears a tailored
style with sailor elements which is highly representative of one of the
looks of the Edwardian fashion era.
It's not a strict sailor style, but the contrast braid and
darker fabric was a frequent trim of the time and is in keeping with fashion
designs of the day.
woman beside her wears the bloused sleeves of later years which have more
generally distributed fullness.
These wide collars which draped on the shoulders or which created matador
epaulettes were all a variation on a theme in this fashion era. Collar
interest was important and often morphed into massive
lace bertha collar
contrast the bride (left) wears sleeves which could date back to 1896 style
They are not the most massive of leg o'mutton sleeves of 1895, but they do
have substantial fullness which is moving down toward the wrist.
sleeve is commonly confused with the gigot sleeve of the
late 1820s and
early 1830s. One way to check the date on a picture is to put more
than one element together. In this case the hats are quite definitely late
1890s early 1900 in style.
Her bridesmaid's bodice has sleeves which have a look of sleeve heads of
The dawn of a new century is always an exciting phase as every society feels
they are on the brink of an even better century. Society always
hopes for greater discoveries, an
end to wars and a better standard of living for everyone.
The reality of the
twentieth century was that it encompassed many major wars where millions
died, spawned incredible medical developments, brought a revolution in modes
and manners and created a technological revolution that would change
No page on 1900 fashion is really complete without a short timeline of some
facts of the moment. Far too many countries were involved in political
strife for a listing, but you may be amused by the Hershey Bar and the
camera, two items that continue to hold fascination for many of us.
My sincere thanks to Patrick Brennan of Tyne and Wear for
use of the top photo which includes his great-grandfather John.
The people in the top photo are -
Sitting - James Watson : Hugh Kelly : Peter Kelly : Hannah Rooney : Sarah
Standing - Margaret Jarvis : Elizabeth Watson : John Rooney : Elizabeth
Rooney : Mary Ann Rooney : Harriet Jarvis
Children - Janet Rooney : Elizabeth Rooney : George Rooney
Elizabeth Rooney was the tenant of the farm; her son John was the farm
foreman. The bride was her youngest daughter Hannah. The best man and
bridesmaid later married each other.
For more information about Wedding Photos click below:-
Old photos can be useful when tracing family members and narrowing down
search dates. These photo pages may help you put an era to your
If you have old wedding photos please send them to me and if suitable I will
add them to this pictorial section of social history.
OLD WEDDING PHOTOS
For superb Victorian or Edwardian re-enactment costumes in USA, try the reproduction costume range at:
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