Thursday, September 29, 2011

Natal Photographers: T Dickinson

Maud Alice Swires, Pietermaritzburg, 1909

In her crisp white day dress, with fashionable tucked detail on her high-necked tunic-style bodice, this colonial lady epitomizes the end of the first decade of the 20th c. Her hair has been encouraged into a loose, curly style, the bouffant shape probably owing something to coir pads worn under her own hair. The waist of the dress is placed slightly above the normal waistline, and accentuated by a fabric belt. Her sleeves end in a point over her wrist with a hint of feminine frill. All signs of the bustle have disappeared and her skirt is long and tubular, widening at the hem.  
The brooch at her throat spells out her name, Maud. This photograph was probably taken shortly before her marriage in 1909. The photographer’s name is stamped on the reverse of the enlarged print: T. Dickinson (sometimes spelled Dickenson), who owned the Imperial Studio in Pietermaritzburg ca 1900-1910. By the date this photo was taken he was located at 128 Chapel Street, Pietermaritzburg.


Michael L said...

Very helpful indirectly, many thanks. I have a portrait of my great-aunt Susan, marked T Dickinson, 128 Chapel Street, Pietermaritzburg, but undated, and your information re dates very helpful.

Susan and family came from Manchester, UK, and she sailed back to the UK (from S Africa) in January 1916, so may well have been in S Africa (where two of her sisters had settled) from at least 1910 to 1916.

Michael Loudon

Mole said...

Thanks for your comment and I'm pleased the information was useful. I would love to see your great aunt's photo - depending on the pic I may be able to give a narrower date parameter.
You could put it on Picasa and send me the link or just as a small jpeg attachment to my email
Regards Mole