© 2017 Fourtoes

The Jamiesons

I couldn’t resist this set of family portraits dating from February – October, 1884. I’m assuming its Father, Mother, Son and Daughter.Amazing quality and a pleasure to have the four together.

A set of four 11×13 ish inch over painted (oil) portraits with accompanying albumen prints in each corner. On the reverse are instructions for the colourist.

These are by Brown, Barnes and Bell, who once claimed to be the largest Photographers in the world. Taken at their Glasgow branch for 30 shillings each print.

Introducing Mr Jamieson…



Heres a full list of the details offered to the Colourist.

Date when Ordered: 1st Feb 1884

Name: Jamieson

Complexion: Clear Good Flesh Colour

Eyes: Medium Grey

Hair: 16. Shade darker

Whiskers and Beard: Light Auburn, very slightly grey


Dress: Black

Jewels, &c: Gold Stud

Extra Frame – Style: Oil     Price: 30/-

Remarks: (missing label) ….well marked….. black.


Mrs Jamieson



Date when Ordered: October  (missing label)

Name: Jamieson

Complexion: Sallow, little colour

Eyes: Light blue

Hair: I.17

Whiskers and Beard:


Dress: Dark green

Jewels, &c: Gold. jet necklet

Extra Frame – Style: Oil     Price: 30/-

Remarks: eyebrows slightly (missing label).


I notice that Mrs Jamieson has been printed in reverse/mirrored. I wonder if this was intentional or an error of some sort. The other three are printed in the same orientation as their smaller albumen prints.


Master Jamieson



Date when Ordered: (missing label)

Name:(missing label)

Complexion: …. color

Eyes: …. L Grey

Hair: I.17

Whiskers and Beard:


Dress: …..rk

Jewels, &c: ….. Buttons?

Extra Frame – Style: Oil     Price:

Remarks: (missing label)…. brows well defined. Blue Stockings, Blue & white tie.


This one also has an advertisement label in two halves of each side unfortunately.



Miss Jamieson



Date when Ordered: 14th December (missing label)

Name:(missing label)

Complexion: Pale a nice color?

Eyes: Med blue

Hair: Sample sent

Whiskers and Beard:


Dress:Navy blue velvet silver bu….

Jewels, &c:Blue beads round ne…..

Extra Frame – Style: Oil     Price: 30/-

Remarks: Eyebrows med mar…(missing label)… White lace at neck


I’d love to see the colour chart they are matching the hair colours to.

Codes of I 17 and 16, were they colour patch swatches or real life samples of hair? I notice they have “Sample sent” for Miss Jamieson for them to match it.

Also I though maybe Brown, Barnes and Bell are not the photographer but the colourist only, or maybe vice versa? On the bottom of the blue label it does say …gate, Wigan. Which would contradict the Glasgow label.

Surely there must be some literature or book with all this info in, I can’t remember reading it anywhere.



  1. Pete Spencer
    Posted August 15, 2017 at 2:08 PM | #

    The pictures are wonderful. Really interesting to see the original photographs alongside the over-painted versions.
    I’ve got a couple of new items for you, which I found after a bit of a search of my belongings; three CDV’s, a nice Edwardian? wedding card, a double studio portrait plate and, finally, a photo-booth picture of a girl (not certain of date).
    Give me a call if they are of interest, no cost involved.

  2. Posted August 19, 2017 at 3:34 PM | #

    Thanks Peter, I’ll call you.

  3. Pete Spencer
    Posted August 20, 2017 at 8:46 AM | #

    I’m away the coming week with the brass ensemble in South Wales, back Friday pm. Speak to you after that.

  4. Posted August 23, 2017 at 12:32 PM | #

    Ok, have a good time in Wales.

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