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Details of family photo from Tilsit, East Prussia #germany #photographs


Fig, Lorraine
 

Can anyone provide insights into this photo of my great-grandparents taken in Tilsit, East Prussia perhaps around 1885?   I know almost nothing about my great-grandfather.  My questions are as follows:
1.  What do you think are the approximate ages of the two people?
2.  Judging by clothing, what date could this be?  Is there anything unusual in the details of their clothing? 
3.  Are there any helpful details or clues in the photo that would lead to identification? 
4.  Is there any significance in their choice of photographer "L Peters"?

Thank you so much for your help.
Lorraine Fig Shapiro
Ann Arbor, MI


Sherri Bobish
 


Lorraine,

It does look like a studio photo, with chair and backdrop provided.  In some cases even the clothing was provided by the studio.

The pose of having the wife standing, and the husband sitting, was a common one.
 
You might try searching L. PETERS in old city directories.  I've never done research for Tilsit, but this may give you a time frame in which this photographer was in business if there are extant directories.  https://genealogyindexer.org/directories

Regards,

Sherri Bobish


Fig, Lorraine
 

Hello Sherri,
Thank you for the information.  Does this look like a wedding photograph?  I see the man is wearing a wedding ring.  Was that a common practice at that time?  I can't clearly make out the woman's left hand.
Is there any significance in her pendant?  Can you guess at the years this type of clothing was in fashion (in Germany/East Prussia)?

Thanks so much.
Lorraine Fig Shapiro
Ann Arbor, MI


Fig, Lorraine
 

By the way, the suggestion of using that directory was a very good one.  Although I have not yet found the studio of L. Peters, photographer, I did find the name of the man in the photo, Jacob Ludwinowsky, in one of the directories and was able to obtain his occupation.  So that was new and interesting information!
Kind regards,
Lorraine Fig Shapiro
Ann Arbor, MI
Researching LUDWINOWSKY/I  and SLADOWSKY/I (East Prussia and Suwalki province, Poland).


Sherri Bobish
 


Lorraine,

I am going to make an educated guess that this photo was taken after the couple married, but before they had children.  Taking a photo was a big deal at that time, and I think they would have included the children in the photo, if they had children.

I do not know how common wedding rings were in Easter Europe at that time.  Also, I cannot see the pendant clearly in your photo, so cannot comment on that.

There are people that specialize in dating old clothing.  You may want to start a new thread on the discussion list with an appropriate subject line, i.e. Dating of 19th century clothing.  That way people with knowledge of the subject will read your post.

best regards,

Sherri Bobish


Barbara Algaze
 

Regarding the wedding ring on the man's left hand:  years ago, when my daughter became engaged, my uncle offered her the wedding rings of his parents (my grandparents).  Inside were inscribed two dates.  My mother explained to me, that it was the tradition of the Jews in Berlin, that when you became engaged, you wore the ring on the ring finger of your right hand, and when you became engaged, the date of the marriage was engraved inside the ring and you wore it on the ring finger of your left hand.

Barbara Algaze
Los Angeles, California

Researching:  COHN from Samter, Tirschtegal, Schoenlanke, Wreschen, Berlin
LEBURG:  Danzig, Berlin
ALGAZE:  Constantinople, Brooklyn, New York