Sunday, January 26, 2020
Note two new 'pages' have been added to this blog: St Helena Ancestry and Log of a Voyage to Natal
Or go to the tab headings shown at the top of the blog page.
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Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Costume in Natal: the Christadelphians
Christadelphians - Lafnie's Drift (De Jager's Drift), Natal : 1895/1896
Back Row : 1 Bro Sigvart Larsen, 2 Bro Milner, 3 Bro E Milner, 4 Bro C Milner, 5 Bro Dogoya Libisi
Front Row : Sis Lafnie, Bro Lafnie, Bro Milner, Sis Milner, Sis van Rooyen
(Note by Angel Sivert Larsen dated 27/3/1963 - eldest son of Sigvart Larsen - gives the source of the above information as "Christadelphian page 140 March 1906".
Acknowledgement: David Larsen. For more information see
The Christadelphian movement was founded by John Thomas (1805-71), in the USA in 1848. Thomas was a doctor who had been born in London but emigrated to the USA in 1832, partly because he thought that English society was 'priest-ridden'.
Posted by Mole at 8:47 AM No comments:
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Costume in Natal: Alice Mary Swires nee King
Posted by Mole at 11:45 AM No comments:
Friday, January 17, 2020
Costume in Natal: Sydney Bartle Gadsden
Posted by Mole at 7:47 AM No comments:
Labels: Captain William Bell, Maud Alice Swires, Sydney Bartle Gadsden, Thomas Alfred Gadsden, William Bell Gadsden
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Costume in Natal: Maud Alice Gadsden nee Swires
A delightful portrait of my grandmother Maud Alice Gadsden nee Swires b 18 April 1890 with her only child, my father, William Bell Gadsden, b 29 June 1910, seen here aged about 6 months.
The daughter of Alice Mary nee King and James Dudley Swires, Maud married Sydney Bartle Gadsden, son of Thomas Alfred Gadsden and Eliza Ann nee Bell (daughter of Port Captain William Bell).
Both Maud and William's outfits are lavishly trimmed with the hand-embroidered broderie anglaise much in vogue at the time. Maud's hair achieves the high bouffant style through use of net and wire pads worn underneath.
Unfortunately, the photographer who took this cabinet photo remains unknown as the print at some stage (before my time, I hasten to add) became separated from its cardboard mount.
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Costume in Natal 1902: family group
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Sunday, January 12, 2020
Dating costume and photographers, Natal (Swires/Gadsden)
In her crisp white day dress, with fashionable tucked detail on her high-necked tunic-style bodice, this colonial lady (my grandmother Maud Alice Swires) 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
Posted by Mole at 12:07 PM No comments:
Saturday, January 11, 2020
Dating Photographs in Natal: costume and studio
The photograph may have been taken just prior to the gentleman's marriage in November 1909. The Bower Studio was run by W Thomas at Smith Street, Durban, from 1905 and continued in existence into at least the late 1940s, when the studio was listed at both Smith and West Streets, Durban. By that time, it was the Bower Studio (Pty.) Ltd. The good quality grey card mount has decorative touches in the Art Nouveau style.
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