This charming studio portrait exudes a casual upper-class British elegance. The painted backdrop is cleverly done to erase any separation from the studio floor.
But there's an intriguing story behind the image created by Jennie Rewman, "Manageress" of The Worthing Portrait Company.
In the 1891 census Rewman is described as a "Photographer's Assistant" aged 35. She was boarding at Miss Florence Stewart's Lodging House at 40 High Street, Worthing. Miss Stewart, the proprietor of the lodging house, was later to join Rewman as a partner in the Worthing Portrait Company.
The 1901 census records both Miss Rewman and Miss Stewart residing at their business premises at 4 Railway Approach, Worthing. Rewman is entered on the census return as a "Photographer (Employer at home)" aged 46, and the same occupational description is given to 47 year old Florence Kate Stewart.
The two photographers employed a number of assistants, and one can be identified as Frances Clarke, who in the 1901 census is recorded as a twenty-one year old "Photographer (worker)."
It was certainly uncommon for women of the period to own and manage their own photography studios. That Miss Rewman and Miss Steward also shared a residence is thought-provoking. Of course we'll never know the intimate details of their relationship and mustn't engage in idle speculation.
Carte-de-visite of a Handsome Cricket Player
Worthing Portrait Company, c. 1900.
4 1/2" x 6 1/2" in very good condition.