18th century gentleman

23 October 2008 by Dave Moffat

Photograph of an old man, sitting in a leather armchair.  He is wearing a dark coloured hat, dark overcoat, light coloured linen trousers and leather shoes.  There is a book on a sidetable on his right.

Watch the birdie!

I’ve always been fond of looking at old photographs. Whether it’s a building which has long since been demolished, or a person from the dim and distant past, I’ve always found it interesting to wonder what they were like.

In the Decorative Art Department, we have a large collection of photographs which we use for, amongst other things, dating our extensive costume collection. Some clothes in history were only fashionable for a short time and we can usually pin things down to a few years using the photographs. 

During a recent search through them, we came across this picture of one William Gihon. Taken on the 1st January 1864, it’s fairly old for a photograph, but of more interest is the fact that in the photo (though he doesn’t look it) he’s 94.

To think that we are looking at a image of someone who was born in the same year as James Cook’s discovery of Australia, Mary Antoinette marrying Louis Auguste and William Wordsworth’s birth is astonishing.

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