Monday, July 09, 2007

Poignant Photo

Every now and again in this job - dealing in books and paper and stuff - one comes across something which, whilst it may not have an enormous monetary value, seems special in some way. I bought this photo on Friday at a small auction in the village of Emsworth on the south coast. The photo is clearly of the Titanic. There is an ink stamp on the verso which gives the name of a Southampton bookseller and the date 25 Jun 1912 - so, although there is little enough detail in the background, we might assume this was taken in Southampton Water. Clearly, this was a print of a photo made just a few weeks after the sinking at a time when the whole world was consumed by the tragedy. What makes this particularly poignant however, is the fact that almost with the naked eyes, and certainly with a magnifying glass, one can make out the people on the deck. There is enough detail to see even the shapes of the dresses and hats that the women are wearing. Dresses and hats which presumably came to rest fathoms down at the bottom of the Atlantic with their wearers!

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