Saturday, January 02, 2016

Sepia Saturday 311 : Eiderdown And Out


Our first Sepia Saturday theme image of 2016 features a colourful shop front advertising a tempting variety of fruit and vegetables and I am matching it with a less than colourful photograph of what I assume is a shop front which appears to be selling a selection of blankets and eiderdowns. I am not sure whether I need to explain what an eiderdown is - the pace of change in fashions and language seem to convert the familiar of my youth into instant history - but think of it as a kind of quilt which, predating central heating, lay on top of the usual collection of sheets and blankets.

From the size of the crowd, I can only assume that some form of street auction was taking place, although a number of other possible explanations might spring to the fertile mind. This, of course, is the delight of unknown old photographs - their significance is constrained merely by the extent of your imagination. The image is from an old tiny negative which was part of a large job lot I recently bought on eBay. I would guess that it dates from either the 1930s or 1940s and I suspect that it is a street somewhere in Britain, although I have no evidence at all to support this.

Stripped of its time, its place and its significance we are left with just the image itself to enjoy, along with some delightful speculations as to what the two chaps in the centre foreground are talking about. Such speculation is the stuff of Sepia Saturday, and more of the same stuff can be found by following the links on the Sepia Saturday Blog.

16 comments:

  1. How strange, but also how interesting. You’re probably right about the street auction as there seem to be a couple of men facing oiutwards towards the crowd.

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  2. Interesting- it looks like a street auction of blankets and such, but I suspect something else is going on under those covers..:)

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  3. I wonder what season this is. I wonder if they are getting ready for winter.

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  4. "See here, son, you don't really need that bicycle you've been saving for. If we combine our resources we can get that quilt your Mum wants. Wouldn't that be grand?"

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  5. Whatever it is, a lot of people are finding it worth watching.

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  6. The clothes look 1940s-ish but what a lot of men there are in this crowd, so maybe 1950s? And what an amazing lack of hats.
    It does seem an odd way to display eiderdowns. You'd think they'd get very dirty.

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  7. How thrilling to know another orphan photo has found a forever home on your blog, Alan. Georgina's observation of this hatless crowd does suggestion a later rather than earlier time period.

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  8. I think the 50s too. Some of the womens shoes seem to be wuite flat rmulating the balley type shoes that i think were popular then. And yes to Britain rather than America as I can see a sign which is in pounds shillings and pence over on the far left.

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  9. Quite flat emulating the ballet shoes....sorry everyone...fat fingers...

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  10. The father is telling his son that one day his quilts will be hanging on signs being auctioned off if he doesn't get to work on his studies.

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  11. It tells an interesting story.

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  12. I think the father is suggesting they clear out of the auction and beat the crowd to the pub.

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  13. Very possibly, and I too am captivated by the two going away from the crowd. The one is really serious about whatever he's trying to relate to the younger one too! Very interesting.

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  14. Good quality quilts were probably in big demand - perhaps some were even handmade. The men in the foreground were likely so engrossed in conversation that they didn't even notice the crowd!

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  15. I remember the eiderdowns. Mum only replaced them with doonas as my son had an allergy to them (probably the dust in them)!

    Yes it is an intriguing photo. I would like to know what is happening.

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  16. It looks as though that young man in the foreground may be in trouble. With his head down it looks as though he could be hearing some strong words from perhaps his father next to him. Great photo.

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