Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

This 1890-1910s cabinet card also came from my Denver trip and features a young girl, her grandmother and grandfather, and an uncle. There was writing on the back in a beautiful German hand identifying them and also giving us Onkel Emil and Helene as two of the names. On the front under the photo it says “Me” under Helene. I am a bit loose with the dating on this because the style of mounting is more similar to post 1900 photo mounts and the photo also appears to have been taken in a home setting, versus a studio setting. The individuals are seated on some type of high backed bench and the wall is papered and adorned with objects I can’t quite identify…candle holders? religious icons?

Had I realized the pricing noted on the backs of these photos in Denver was wrong I would have purchased more! They all stated very clearly $5, but then the shop only charged $1. I put back so many others that appeared related to this one, and then my friends called me from the restaurant (where ARE you???) and I didn’t get time to return. Ah, regrets…

5 thoughts on “Großfater

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    A most interesting photo. Grofsfater and Grofsmutter (Grandfather and Grandmother) and Uncle Emil (in German). I think some of the icons in the background are religious. A couple (the ones on the far left and right) look to be photos of royalty (perhaps King and Queen or Emperor, Archdukes or Dutchesses of Austria, Bohemia, or Bavaria) I would swear I’ve seen the photo on the left before.


    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      The fellow in the left picture reminds me of a painting of Maximillian of Mexico, but I doubt it’s him. Maybe it is a typical “royal” pose?


  2. Lovely bench!! The items on the wall ..two photographs..they could be royalty ..however I tend to think that they are photos of Grandma and Grandpa in earlier years. There are also two shelves with kinck knacs on them..one may be a cupid. The object in the center is very interesting however I cannot identify it..since it is in the center and there is only one it is the most important…it must hold something. It is a lovely old photo..too bad the pricing was not more clear.:)


  3. usermattw says:

    Fun photo with a lot of intriguing mysteries! The correct German spelling of “father” is “vater”, not “fater”, which made me wonder if “fater” is archaic, or perhaps regional, or even something other than German, but I didn’t find anything. It seems to be written in English on the front, so I wondered if it was written on the back by an English speaker who hadn’t quite learned German correctly, like the granddaughter who had grown up in the U.S or something. Or maybe I’m way off base. LOL. As for the stuff on the wall, my first thought of the photos was royalty, too, but that’s just a guess. The German leader at the time would be Kaiser Wilhelm II, and the leader of Austria-Hungary would be Emporer Franz Josef I. A quick image search of both shows Franz Josef more inclined to wear the sorts of luxurious capes seen here, but that’s not proof one way or another.


    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      Good point – I saw that vater was the correct spelling also and wondered if it was family, education, phonetic, etc.


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