Author Topic: Please date this photo of my Grandmother Petranella  (Read 607 times)

Offline Locklea

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Please date this photo of my Grandmother Petranella
« on: Sunday 16 March 14 23:55 GMT (UK) »
This is my Grandmother Petranella Kira Gerulis (maiden name) Mekurieff (married name).  Would it be possible to date this photo, perhaps based upon her clothing?  Or hairstyle? I also need help to identify this style of dress.  I am sure it is typical of an ethnic area within or close to the Russian empire. But I am looking for the very localized area that this dress was from. I have read that lace, and lacemaking, and making dresses thereof, can be traced to very specific areas, as each culture has their own way of making lace.  I have searched fashions from the  Russian empire, but they are either folk costumes, or Imperial court dresses, or fashions that copy the European fashions of the day, and I am only guessing at the year as around 1915. I have only seen one other dress like this, in a book entitled: The Russian Empire, a portrait in photographs, by Chloe Obolensky.  I cannot reprint that photo here due to copyright restrictions, but if anyone has that book, it is photo number 56, and the caption to that photo is Teatime at the Semichoss house.  There is a lady, approximately 50 or 60 years of age wearing this very style, very thin, unlike my grandmother, but it is the same style of dress.  There are younger people in the photo which I think are contemporary with the time that photo was taken, and the other people seem to be in their 20's and thirties, so this style is an older style from the other dresses in that photo.  I would say that photo is taken approximately around 1915 to 1920 perhaps, but I am not an expert in photo dating. Semichoss does not appear to be an ethnically Russian name.  Anyway, I attach the photo of my grandmother without worry of copyright because I own the photo and copyright. The other photo I have applied for and wait for permission to reproduce it.

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Offline chinakay

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Re: Please date this photo of my Grandmother Petranella
« Reply #1 on: Monday 17 March 14 04:40 GMT (UK) »
Well, what an outfit! Very intricate, isn't it?

As you mentioned, this is not western fashion, and there really isn't much of an equivalent in the London/Paris scene which is what drove the western ideas of style. I might mention that in the west, the v-neck collar didn't appear until 1913/1914...but this lady's hairstyle is completely different from what western women were wearing so I can't say it's definitive. Also the overskirt thing doesn't fit anywhere into the western look.

If you have the original photo, there's a slim chance that the frame might be dateable. Could we see a scan of the whole thing including the outer corners of the cardboard surround, as well as the back if there is any printing on it? Doesn't have to be a big tif. Also please scan in colour as it may be a dating clue.

Lovely photo, and you are lucky to have it :)

Cheers,
China
Moore/Paterson~Montreal
Moore/Addison~New Brunswick
Jubb/Kerr~Mirfield~Halifax~Moffatt
Williams~Dolwyddelan

King~Bedfordshire~Hull
Jenkins~Somerset
Sellers~Hull

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Offline AJ100

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Re: Please date this photo of my Grandmother Petranella
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 18 March 14 15:04 GMT (UK) »
As china says, diffucult to date by the fashion due to cultural differences in dress style but can the date be pinpointed more by the lady's age? She looks in her early twenties in the picture - do you know your grandmother's date of birth?

Regards

AJ

Offline Locklea

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Re: Please date this photo of my Grandmother Petranella
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 19 March 14 01:03 GMT (UK) »
Thank you China and Aj100, every comment helps to solve where this dress was worn and accepted as usual.  My grandmother was born 1893 or 1896. I am attaching 3 photos of the thick photo card, the full front with edges, full back and an edge shot. It is scanned in color, but as you see there is basically no color to it, or it has faded.  She gave birth to my father in 1917, in Kharkov, Russia, the day of the Russian revolution, so I believe that this photo was the last time she would wear what she considered her fine clothing.  She and my grandfather and my father had to leave Russia and did leave Russian soil after much privation and hardship in 1922. So, sometime preceding 1917 I am thinking that this photo had to be taken. She does look rather plump, perhaps ready to, or having given birth, or maybe that is just her normal size. But that style, that lace, belongs to a certain time, place and culture. It just can't be the only one on the planet. If only you could see the other photo I had mentioned. In my uneducated opinion, the overjacket does seem more eastern European, but the lightness of the fabric seems consistent with Edwardian times.  One other wild guess is that I always was told that this was our grandmother, but the hairstyle seems older than the dress style, and I recently had a thought perhaps it was a photo of my grandmother's mother, who would have been born 20 years earlier, and whose name was Salome Deines. And that my grandmother kept this photo because it was her mother, not herself.  It would be nice if you could rule out why this couldn't be my great grandmother so I only have one theory to follow up.

Offline Locklea

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Re: Please date this photo of my Grandmother Petranella
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 19 March 14 01:31 GMT (UK) »
Here is the full front of the thick photo of Petranella.  Well, I'm having trouble loading the photos, am working on it, and will get them posted ASAP.

Offline Alex017

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Re: Please date this photo of my Grandmother Petranella
« Reply #5 on: Monday 04 March 19 05:57 GMT (UK) »
Locklea
I ask your permission to post the Petranella Merkurieff's photo on a forum about hand sewing of historical clothing. Maybe some ladies will share their opinions.

I have found that Gerulis surname is of Lithuanian origin.
A genealogy forum member living in Lithuania suggested that it may come from:
1. geras=good, kind
2. girulis=solitary
http://forum.vgd.ru/post/55/24270/p1807780.htm#pp1807780 (there is a typo in the message: not сеть but есть)

Another man on the forum thinks that it means clever, smart

Online Wiggy

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Re: Please date this photo of my Grandmother Petranella
« Reply #6 on: Monday 04 March 19 07:57 GMT (UK) »
Locklea hasn't been on this forum for 5 years so may not see your request.

Wiggy
Gaunt, Ransom, McNally, Stanfield, Kimberley. (Tasmania)
Brown, Johnstone, Eskdale, Brand  (Dumfriess,  Scotland)
Booth, Bruerton, Deakin, Wilkes, Kimberley
(Warwicks, Staffords)
Gaunt (Yorks)
Percy, Dunning, Hyne, Grigg, Farley (Devon, UK)
Duncan (Fife, Devon), Hugh, Blee (Cornwall)
Green, Mansfield, (Herts)
Cavenaugh, Ransom (Middlesex)
 

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Offline Alex017

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Re: Please date this photo of my Grandmother Petranella
« Reply #7 on: Monday 04 March 19 15:03 GMT (UK) »
I got PM from Locklea yesterday.

Online Wiggy

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Re: Please date this photo of my Grandmother Petranella
« Reply #8 on: Monday 04 March 19 18:56 GMT (UK) »
  :)   Good!     :)
Gaunt, Ransom, McNally, Stanfield, Kimberley. (Tasmania)
Brown, Johnstone, Eskdale, Brand  (Dumfriess,  Scotland)
Booth, Bruerton, Deakin, Wilkes, Kimberley
(Warwicks, Staffords)
Gaunt (Yorks)
Percy, Dunning, Hyne, Grigg, Farley (Devon, UK)
Duncan (Fife, Devon), Hugh, Blee (Cornwall)
Green, Mansfield, (Herts)
Cavenaugh, Ransom (Middlesex)
 

 Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.