The Stamp and Coin Place Blog: connecting the past and present of stamp and coin collecting, and looking to the future.

Photos from the Attic

Old photographs have a special kind of charm all their own, and we think they deserve to be brought out and shown to the world with a new series of blog posts.

Here we have a pile of photographs, each with a uniqueness that draws in the eye. What each of them has in common is their success in engaging us, in captivating our attention and drawing us in.

Two sailors look out on a foggy day, anticipating a long day ahead of them.

Two sailors look out on a foggy day, anticipating a long day ahead of them.

The fog that happened to be present at the time that this photograph was taken, for example, is precisely what grabs my eye and unleashes a whirl of mystery. This photograph is not about the subject in the forefront of the shot but is about the ghostly ship which, given its unassuming presence in the background, invites curiosity.

“Queenie Martin 1945″: Queenie knew she lived up to her name, and declared the lawn chair her throne.

“Queenie Martin 1945″: Queenie knew she lived up to her name, and declared the lawn chair her throne.

And the interesting line quality with the picture of the dog is enough to make me pause. The dog’s head is aligned with the edge of the deck. For the dog’s head to be perfectly flat with the deck makes the photograph visually appealing. Was this in the photographer’s mind when they took the picture? Or was it simply a serendipitous encounter?

Marcy knew that this moment alone was the only chance she had at eating her sister's birthday cake, and by golly, she was going to take it.

Marcy knew that this moment alone was the only chance she had at eating her sister’s birthday cake, and by golly, she was going to take it.

A question while rummaging through the boxes of photographs that we have acquired over the course of the years has suggested to me that each photograph is its own miniature piece of art. And yet, the photos are unsigned and anonymous; they’re pieces of art for their own sake.

"Those boys are going to get into trouble someday," Delilah said to herself as she watched her two kids play out the entirety of WWII using only sand castles and rubber ducks.

“Those boys are going to get into trouble someday,” Delilah said to herself as she watched her two kids play out the entirety of WWII using only sand castles and rubber ducks.

When Marcel Duchamp famously found a urinal, named it “Fountain” and signed it “R. Mutt” in 1917, he changed the face of art forever as we know it today. Art could be anything that someone claimed to be art. In his case, a found object, the urinal, became art.

While we are not going to sign any of the photographs or take any other avenue to claim them as our own artistic creation, we have found these photos in our supply and would like to appreciate them for the art that they are.

As we release these photographs back into the world, we do so with a profound appreciation of the curiosity that they incite in us.

Join us as we step back in time and take a look at old photographs, the hidden history behind them and what we imagine they’re telling us.

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