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help request: where is her hand?

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Old 10-11-2002, 04:40 AM
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Sanda Sanda is offline
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I've been looking at this pic for quite some time. I don't think her arm is behind her back as it would be a very unusual pose for the period as Chiquitita
said. It's very hard to tell where exactly it goes but I would have to say either she didn't have a forarm or she has it behind her back, but why she would pose like that beats me. So the only logical conclusion I can make is the same as DJ, I can't see any forarm.
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Old 10-11-2002, 05:12 AM
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angue angue is offline
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I would agree that there seems to be no hand in the picture. However, given the era this picture was taken I don't think that they would immortalize a lost hand unless it was a badge of honor. I think they would at least hide or camouflage a lost hand.
My recommendation would be to crop the picture and just focus on the upper torso with a vignette.
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Old 10-11-2002, 06:25 AM
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Trimoon Trimoon is offline
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I say it’s behind her back. However it could be in her pocket; this is a very common pose for the period.
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Old 10-11-2002, 08:13 AM
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VisualEyes VisualEyes is offline
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My subjective vote goes with the behind the back sentiment.

I believe that the pose is 100% appropriate since the lady is apparently cropped out of a larger composition wherein the child is the center of the arrangement (sitting on dad's lap?) and the lady is maternally standing behind on the opposite side of dad.

I think the back/front confusion comes about from the angle of the wrinkle/crease-line in the waist area of the lady's dress that seems to suggest that the arm is continuing in front of the torso. If you ignore that crease, the arm appears to go naturally behind the torso.
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Old 10-11-2002, 09:51 AM
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T Paul T Paul is offline
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This is a difficult one to tell. Please let us know what the answer ends up being. For now, I played around cloning the nearby pixels to see if they would give a clue. The arm could be behind her back, but I just don't know.

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File Type: jpg woman2.jpg (83.0 KB, 62 views)
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Old 10-11-2002, 10:20 AM
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clare clare is offline
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I go with the theory that the woman has half an arm. I reason is that the image apears as if the top of the womans arm is pointing forward, if the womans arm is behind her I think it looks disjointed. I don't particually know anything about the period and I think the only people that can really answer the question are the womans family.

Good luck with your restoration
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Old 10-11-2002, 10:43 AM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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I can't tell for sure either, but my FIRST impression was that she had a gloved hand in front of her waist. After reading other's impressions, I'm torn between various views. After looking at a number of old photos, it seems to me more likely to see a woman with her hand holding something small (an invitation card, or a small book?) in front of her, wearing gloves.

Since it is not an easy image to figure out, I think you either have to obtain more information from the family without tipping your secret about restoring the photo (will the family even know much about her, though?), or restore it based on whichever position you finally decide makes sense to you.

If you do find out the facts about her arm, and the pose, please let us know!

Last edited by CJ Swartz; 10-11-2002 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 10-11-2002, 10:43 AM
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Leigh Anne Leigh Anne is offline
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Thanks everyone!

Thanks for all the responses!

I cropped the picture before posting originally, but I should have just posted the entire picture. I now realize that this is important, as some people have mentioned, since the period of the photo might tell you something about how people might be posed. And, it is also important since I asked advice on how to restore this. I don't want to do any major cropping since the border of this photo seems to add to much of it's character.

So, FYI, attached is the original photo.

--Leigh Anne
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File Type: jpg family.jpg (72.3 KB, 70 views)
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Old 10-11-2002, 10:48 AM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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I am SO happy that you have the entire photo - and thanks for sharing it. Perhaps this will help solidify the various opinions?
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Old 10-11-2002, 12:19 PM
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DJ Dubovsky DJ Dubovsky is offline
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The reason you rarely see people smile in those old photos was because of the time it took to take the picture most people couldn't hold a smile that long and their faces would appear blurred. Now think about how long you could have held your arm behind your back at that upward angle. That's why I didn't think it was behind her.

If nothing else, Leigh Anne, you've sure gave us all a fun mystery to try and help you solve. I think we are all wanting to know if anyone can answer this mystery. That is a beautiful photo and I think it will be a wonderful present no matter how you deal with the arm. You could pull a sneaky trick and make it look as if it's behind the person and if there is no arm then you can't really tell if you made it look hidden behind her. Just a thought.
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