Here we see a studio portrait of Philip and Maurice House. They look to be aboput 4-7 years old. The boys wear sailor outfits and are photographed in mock sailor rigging. The younger boys wears a sailor dress. We are guessing that the portrait was taken in the 1880s, but we are not sure about that. The sailor outfits are not yet standardized with the stripe detailing. Both children wear black long stockings and strap shoes. We also think the children are English. These rigging portraits are more commonnin England than America. The card logo seems to say G. West & Son. The studio was apparently located in Gosport and Fareham. I am sure that this is the Gosport in England. (American cabinent cards usually indicate the state.) The main studio would have been in Gosport with a branch in Fareham, which is another small market town a few miles away. Apparently Fareham was also a flourishing seaport, in the Middle Ages, but it could only handle small ships and as these generally got larger, the trade moved away, probably to nearby Southampton where modern liners sail from. Gosport in England lies adjacent to Portsmouth and together they form the main Royal Navy base on the south coast.
We note that portraits like this were especially popular in important port cities. We are guessing that the boys' father was a Royal Navy officer. The Royal Navy is a subject of some historical importance. It is interesting to see how the children of Royal Navy families were dressed over time.
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