Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cabinet Photo Old Man With Elaborate Shawl, Grangeville, Idaho, 1890s

Sometimes I think we need an assistant to do nothing but figure out what things like this are.   I expect someone like that might wish to be paid, so that rules out that possibility. 
Obviously, the interesting thing in this cabinet photo is the shawl (or is it a vest?), but I want to mention something else first.  Photographer info is listed as Hanson Photo, Grangeville, Idaho.  The fact this is from Idaho makes it somewhat unique, at least in my experience.  The vast majority of cabinet photos we have come from the north east & midwest USA.   We have very few from southern states (states that are south of the Ohio River), and very few from areas west of Iowa and Missouri.  Even California cabinet photos seem relatively rare.  This is the very first card we have from Idaho, and it's an interesting one.
What is interesting about it, of course, is the shawl/vest this old fellow is wearing.  We can't figure out what it is.  It's draped around the neck (not really over the shoulders), and I don't know if extends down the man's back, or if it's just around his neck.   Obviously we don't know what it's actual colors are.  It has flower designs, and also cross key designs, which I can't help but think has some significance.   I think there are three of the cross keys - one on each side of the shawl, and I believe one near the bottom which may (or may not) be holding the two sides together.  There is something between the two sides of the shawl, right above the larger cross keys.  Also, there is a medal or something hanging from underneath the shawl, which may have some significance, or may just be part of a pocket watch.  I cannot make out any details on it.  The shawl is fringed, with the two fringes on the ends hanging down lower.
We first thought this may be a religious garment, specifically Jewish, and we don't know that it isn't, but if it is, we couldn't find anything else like it. 
Our next thought was that it was some kind of masonic (or masonic like) ceremonial garment, but again, we can't find anything to prove that.
What we do know, isn't much.  We know that the picture was taken in Grangeville, Idaho, most likely in the 1890s.  He's an old man, wearing a shawl with flower and key designs.  It was taken by Hanson Photo.  That's about it.
If anyone can enlighten us about this, we'd appreciate it!
Update: Sold!

1 comment:

  1. The Treasurer of a Masonic Lodge is the Chief Financial Officer of the Lodge. His Jewel is a Pair of Crossed Keys, signifying he is the Collector and Distributor of all Lodge Monies as he holds the keys to the cashbox.