I am fascinated by old automobiles …the older the better. When it comes to collecting Chow photos, if I can score a chow in an antique”ride”, I feel as though I had won the lottery. This image I have been hanging onto for a while, having had a couple of false starts on restoration attempts, I kept putting it away to ponder my approach once more. The original is very very scratched as you can see on the insets above and below. These kind of scratches often happen when a photo is thrown in a box piled high with other photos and papers. Every time the box is moved the papers shift and degrade the surface (this is a gelatin silver print)
Instead of trying to fight every single scratch into submission I decided that part of the beauty of this image is in it’s age. My main goal was to bring the details forward so we could once again see the darling chow puppy and beautiful “Gibson Girl” styling of this woman’s attire. Here hat and rosette at her cuff are so stunning. You can now see the details of her kid leather gloves both her expression and the chows’ shine through.
I did a lot of searching to find the type of automobile this is and judging from her Edwardian era outfit (1901-1910) and the stying of the car which was called a “horseless carriage”, that puts this photo right at the turn of the 20th century….maybe slightly earlier. With that in mind, you see how rare this chow puppy would have been, as the first real instances of Chows being kept as companions, in both England and America, was in the very latter part of the 1800’s. CLICK HERE FOR HISTORY TIMELINE
SOURCE: The automotive Brass Era is the first period of automotive manufacturing, named for the prominent brass fittings used during this time for such things as lights and radiators. It extends from the first commercial automobiles (first known as motocycles) marketed in the 1890s until about World War I. The term “Brass Era automobile” is a retronym for “horseless carriage,” the original name for such vehicles, which is still in use today.