The colour sepia was named, according to the Wikipedia definition, after the rich brown contents of the Sepia cuttlefish's ink sac. Sepia, gold and selenium toning have been used both to provide warmer hues to photographic prints and to make the compounds more stable, enhancing the archival properties. In the 1920s and 1930s, particularly in the United States, prints with rich, deep brown tones became very popular and were used by many studios, often mounted on elaborate embossed, coloured and patterned card, or in folders.
Among the photographs collected by Hampton (New Hampshire) resident Louis Dubois, and donated to the Photo-Sleuth archives by his daughters Irene and Judy, are several examples of such lavishly coloured, mounted and decorated portraits, including todays offering. N.B. I've tried to match the colours as closely as I can to the original with Adobe Photoshop, but of course it may look slightly different on your screen from what it does on mine.
This portrait of a young woman has been printed on thin card (118.5 x 170.5 mm) with a matt finish, the corners of the print then being inserted into slots cut in a thicker brown, embossed and faux leather patterned card (146 x 213 mm) with feathered edges.
The mount has, in turn been affixed within a 2½-leaf vertically opening folder (152.5 x 221 mm folded; 152.5 x 276 opened) made of similar brown card.
This folder is constructed so that the upper and lower leaves can be folded back, and the point of the lower leaf inserted into a slot in the upper, creating a stand for display purposes.
The following is handwritten in black ink on the inside of the lower leaf (image enhanced for clarity):
Helen C. GilpatrickHelen Christina Gilpatrick was born in New Hampshire on 30 July 1905, daughter of William Merton Gilpatrick (1879-c1963) and Alice née Kershaw (1879-1963). The family moved to North Hampton around 1915, by which time Helen had two younger sisters Gladys Mae (c1907-1938) and Dorothy Gertrude (1909-1985). William Gilpatrick was a brick and cement mason, doing contract jobs wherever he could find the work, but Hampton proved to be a good base, and he was on the entertainment committee of the Men's Club. Alice, although born in England, had immigrated with her family to the United States when very young and settled in Fall River, Massachusetts. However, she moved easily into the Hampton community, soon becoming a stalwart of the Mothers' Circle. In 1920, they were living at 179 High Street in Hampton, and all three girls attended Hampton Academy.
Helen, too, became very active in Hampton community affairs, particularly at the Congregational Church Sunday School. When she graduated from Hampton Academy in a ceremony at the Town Hall on the evening of Friday 15 June 1923, she was one of five honors students. The graduation class roll is shown in the program she later donated to the Tuck Museum - now held by the Lane Memorial Library - and the names of honors students, marked here (by me) with an asterisk, were published in the Portsmouth Herald on 18 June:
*Eva May LantzAt least four other members of this graduating class are subjects of photographs in the Louis Dubois collection, and I will feature them here on Photo-Sleuth in due course, together with details of any further connecting stories that I can unravel. However, it appears on the face of it, that Helen had this fine portrait taken to mark her graduation, and gave copies to her class mates, including this one.
Douglass Everett Hunter
*Helen Christina Gilpatrick
Malcolm Dana Roberts
Vernon Libby Booker
Grace Wilomina Blake
Harold Reynold Beede
*Walter Randolph Clark
Gertrude Shirley Blake
*Norman Oswald Marston
Hazel Estella Lamprey
*Evelyn Crosby Shaw
I found the following extract from the local rag, The Hamptons Union, dated Thursday, February 12, 1925, which seems to confirm her predilection for necklaces:
A very pleasant surprise was given Miss Helen Gilpatrick last Saturday evening, when a number of her friends gathered at her home. The evening was passed very pleasantly by playing games. A beautiful string of crystal beads were presented to her from those present. Delicious refreshments of ice cream and cake were served. The guests departed at a late hour having enjoyed a very pleasant evening.
Although her two younger sisters married, Dorothy in 1936 to Norman Smiley and Gladys a year later to Leroy Shea, she remained single, working as a book-keeper and stenographer, and living in Hampton until at least the early 1960s. She died in Florida in August 1985.
Whitman Studio, Malden, Massachusetts
Whitman Studio (at right), 100 Pleasant Street, Malden, 18 July 1923
The Whitman Studio, situated on Pleasant Street, Malden (Mass.), which Helen Gilpatrick visited in 1923, shown on the edge of the photograph above, probably within weeks of the sitting, was operated by Edgar L. Byrd from at least as early as 1910 until shortly before his death in September 1956. Early in his career, he was responsible for the photographs of Helen Keller published in her book, "The World I Live In" in 1907.
Lane Memorial Library Archives, Hampton
1881 Census of the UK, from Ancestry.co.uk
UK GRO Birth, Marriage & Death Index, from FreeBMD
US Federal Census Collection, WW1 Draft Registration Cards, US City Directories & the Portsmouth Herald newspaper, from Ancestry.com
Massachusetts, New Hampshire & Maine Births, Marriages & Deaths, from FamilySearch
US Social Security Death Index (SSDI) from FamilySearch
Malden Historical Society (2000) Malden, Arcadia Publishing, 128p.