I am now five months into the photo cataloguing project for which previous progress updates were provided as part of the House Diary on the main Attingham Park website.
Ably supported by my volunteer assistant Jayne Owen, I have now sorted through approximately 1400 photographs. A brief condition check has been made of all of these photos, with any key conservation issues identified. They have also been sorted into one of twelve categories, which makes searching for a particular photograph much easier than it was when all of the photos were mixed together in boxes.
Teresa Hulton’s Personal Photograph Albums Volume 1.
This album is the first of six volumes that contain personal photos of Teresa Hulton’s life, with this volume covering the period 1896 – 1901. The inventory records I have created provide a description of each individual photograph in the album, including the names of people in the photos and if known, dates and locations. You can see these records, along with those for other items in the Attingham collection, on the new National Trust Collections website (www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk).
The photographs in this album provide a fascinating insight into the early life of Teresa and include many intimate pictures of her and her immediate family, particularly William and Costanza Hulton, her parents and Gioconda, her elder sister with whom she had a very close relationship until her tragic death in September 1940. In a slightly spooky coincidence Gioconda died as a result of a motor vehicle accident, just as her sister would thirty-two years later in November 1972.
Another quirk of the album is that whilst it includes photographs of Gioconda as a very young baby, the first picture of Teresa included (shown below) was not taken until 1893 when she was three years old.
Gioconda and Teresa Hulton – 1893
Costanza and Teresa Hulton – 1894
Hulton Family at The Beach – 1884
Costanza is third from the left in the photo, and of particular interest to us here at Attingham is the striped top that she and the other ladies are wearing. This is because a quick check of our inventory reveals that held in the collection is a silk and cotton bodice, left by Teresa but which belonged to her mother, which may well be the same one shown in the photograph.
To find out more information on this bodice, why not check out the National Trust Collections website by searching for National Trust Inventory Number 609815.
As the cataloguing process continues I hope to make similar discoveries which shed new light on some of the other objects already contained in the Attingham collection.