Saturday, January 16, 2010

Who Is She?

My Framed Victorian Lady

Some time ago, probably in the late 1980's, I came across this oval framed print, approximately 18" x 23" at an antique shop. Being an old frame fanatic, I was drawn to the size and the original wavy glass. I think it was no more than $10, so I happily bought it. My grandmother had recently died, and I was thinking of replacing the original print with a picture of her to hang on my wall as a memorial.

But as this Victorian lady hung on my wall, waiting to be removed from her frame, she grew on me. She's one of those pictures whose eyes follow you. Being a sentimental Victorian at heart, I eventually knew I would never remove her from her frame.

She is a chromolithograph, with very muted colors and a Gibson Girl look, probably from the early 1900's. But who was the model? Was it a copy of a more famous work of art, or simply created for the sentimental commercial art market? I wondered about it for many years, and then I came across this photo ten years ago in the April 1999 issue of Victorian Homes magazine.

From Victorian Homes Magazine, April 1999. Photographed by Esther & Franklin Schmidt.

That's my lady! Look at her in that ornate frame in that gorgeous room! It's an article about a couple who design Victorian rooms for their clients, and this article shows their own 1889 Victorian home in San Francisco. I just love all the details in their home and that my lady has a prominent place on an easel in the corner.


She kind of reminds me of the portrait of Elise McKenna in the movie "Somewhere In Time," played by Jane Seymour. Loved that movie and soundtrack! It always made me want to go to Mackinac Island and visit the Grand Hotel where the movie was shot. And I did just that a couple summers ago... but more about that in a later post!

What should I name my Victorian lady? Any suggestions?

"Somewhere In Time"

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

she looks kind of spooky!
~ Daisy

January 16, 2010 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Daisy!

I guess she is kind of spooky, especially when those eyes follow you around the room! I wonder what my cats think. I'll have to ask them.


January 16, 2010 at 11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Boy.... I could so live in this room!! The picture is beautiful. I have some old ones from my family I need to frame..... Now I am inspired to do it this year!!

January 17, 2010 at 7:02 AM  
Blogger Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Marilyn-

I have a lot of old family photos I'd like to enlarge and frame too, and I have so many antique empty frames! I guess it's just a matter of finding the right frame for the right photo (and, of course, just getting around to doing it!).


January 17, 2010 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Cass @ That Old House said...

What a lovely portrait, and what fun to find your mystery woman in a magazine!

Have you tried to find out who she really is?

I love Eastlake design -- the pattern, the angles, the squareness of so much of it, with it's complex geometry of design. Plain all-white rooms ... not for me!

Give me color, pattern, and the occasional owl looking out at me! (Love the background)

January 17, 2010 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Cass-

I've never tried to find out who she is, and wouldn't even know where to begin researching! Maybe now that she's out there in blogland, someone somewhere will have some answers for me...

Isn't the owl wallpaper cute? I'd love to add it to a room in my house someday.


January 17, 2010 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger junkdreams said...

A fabulous find on this picture...too funny how you spotted her again in the pages of a magazine.

January 17, 2010 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Janis-

Thanks for stopping by! Nice to meet you. I'm now following Junkdreams as well. You've found some great stuff... nice big pics too!


January 17, 2010 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger The Victorian Parlor said...

She's beautiful! I think she looks like an Elise:).



January 19, 2010 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Kim-

I agree. Elise it is!


January 19, 2010 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger The Rustic Victorian said...

Wow, Pam,,I have a similar situation...the woman on my banner..she is a large oval...and I have tried to find her too with out result. The picture is cropped way down for the blog ,,anyhow.My gal has the eyes that follow you too. I will keep my eye out for your beauty. She has an Irish feel to me,,,maby an Irish name.
Somewhere In Time, is on my top 10 greatest movies.(I blogged about it last year) I have been looking for a close up of the photo used in the movie. I hope you don't mind if I copy it for my side bar???Let me know if it is a problem. Your blog is fabulous and I will be back for more of current and previous postings.
I bet you just about fell off your chair when you saw her in that beautiful room.

May 1, 2010 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger Eastlake Victorian said...


I love the lady on your banner! She draws me in to your site whenever I visit.

It's perfectly OK to use my photo on your side bar... I think the Somewhere In Time photo looks right at home there! Thank you for all your nice comments on my blog. I truly appreciate it!


May 2, 2010 at 7:58 AM  
Anonymous SimpleSue said...

That oval portrait was a fabulous find! I'm so glad you left her in her frame. I do think she needs a proper title along with Elise. Like "Lady Elise" or "Dame Elise"!

September 29, 2011 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Sue-

I like Lady Elise! You're absolutely right, she does need a proper title, lol!


October 17, 2011 at 8:01 AM  

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