One of my good friends found this real photo postcard at a booth in an antique store a while back. She thought it was odd, but strangely awesome. The oddest thing though, she said, was that the booth had 10 to 15 more of these postcards of the man’s backside in similar but different poses. None of them illustrated a more traditional portrait of the man.
The set up of the photograph looks almost homemade, with a white sheet used as backdrop. The focus is supposed to be drawn to the man’s suit, but I can’t help noticing the wrinkly mess at the bottom of the sheet. Shelves or even a painted backdrop (it’s hard to tell) peak out behind the sheet at the left edge of the photograph.
One of the things I love about this photo is the man’s pose. He tries to look nonchalant, but refined, by holding his right arm, bent at the elbow, in front of him. His relaxed pose illustrates that the cane is more for looks than for need. He leans back on his right leg, while his cane is positioned somewhat awkwardly behind him. He looks to the right, where we can see the hint of wire rimmed glasses and a handlebar mustache.
The back of the postcard is almost illegible, but several individual words can be made out (overcoat oil, background, tailor, along with the numbers 25, 26, and 27).
The stamp area and divided backing of the postcard date this piece to between 1908 and 1915.
Is this man modeling clothes for a tailor? Is he the tailor? Is this another way to advertise a product? Or is he the photographer taking a self-portrait? What are your guesses? The possibilities are almost endless!
Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York. ‘Real Photo Postcard Guide.’ Metropolitan Postcard Club. 4 February 2011. Web. 24 September 2013 http://www.metropostcard.com/guiderealphoto.html
Playle. ‘Real Photo Stamp Boxes.’ Playle. 2013. Web. 24 September 2013 http://www.playle.com/realphoto/photoa.php
Seneca County, New York. ‘A History of Picture Postcards.’ Seneca County, New York website. 2007. Web. 24 September 2013 http://www.co.seneca.ny.us/history/Postcards%20History.pdf