Monday, May 7, 2018
Introducing a Face With No Name
One would have thought that three lines of writing on the back of a photograph would have at least included one vital detail: the name of the subject. But they didn't. I guess that's what comes of not knowing how to read the language when deciding whether to rescue an abandoned family photograph. Sadly, I don't know German.
What I do know, though, is that this picture was from the mid 1870s, at the least. So I now have in my possession a veritable antique—though that is a dubious claim to make, since my original purpose was to transport such photos from their hiding places on the back shelves of antique shops to the welcoming hands of their long-lost relatives.
Since we've been talking about this one particular photograph I found in northern California—one which apparently came from Heidelberg in Germany—I think it is about time I introduced our subject to you. Of course, this won't be a proper introduction, as I don't know the woman's name. All the same, this is a perfect moment to allow you to make her acquaintance.
I'd love it if, at some point, we could discover her name. Foiled by tiny handwriting in a foreign language, I had hoped we would have enough information already written on the photograph. But no. And so she remains a mere curiosity in my own collection, while surely someone is out there who wishes he or she could have had a picture of that very same ancestor.