Old photo, white border. Circa 1910’s.
Price: $15.00 Size: 1 and 3/4″ x 3 and 3/4″
Found at an antique store in California….this snapshot has made its way to us from Moscow, Russia.
In a high and fairly deep archway is a Russian Orthodox shrine (note the shape of the cross) painted on wood we believe, of the crucifixion of Christ; it’s set up in front of a pair of tall, ornate double doors in wrought iron. Was this a permanent display or something temporary for Easter? No other photos were found online for this location, nor were surprisingly, any similar street shrines in Russia. But maybe not so surprising given the political situation that (not knowing the exact date of this photo, so speculating) was soon to be thrust upon the peoples of Russia: We’ve estimated 1910’s for the photo due to the Bolshevik takeover in 1917 and the subsequent “attitudes” toward religion by the Communist regime. (See the first link in sources below for more.)
Signage in old photos is very often the key to finding a time-frame and pinpointing location, and you’ll have noticed the plaque affixed to the building on the other side of the enclave, but it’s partially cut off from our view, so we can’t see the full wording on it, nor what appears above that, rather faint, and then, of course, we’re only seeing the last couple of block letters in whatever is displayed there denoting something. I’m wondering if the whole building would have been a church or if that’s a storefront or something like that next to the shrine. But note the images of saints and angels appearing on the stonework surrounding the 3-d crucifixion depiction, leading us to think that at least part of the building was a house of worship.
Last, but most certainly not least: the mustachioed gentleman standing, leaning a little, next to the archway, in suit and visored hat of the type you can find in other circa 1910’s and ’20’s Russian photos, and high peasant-type boots – he’s a working man, holding one of the tools of his trade, a hand-drill. And then, about to lumber into our view, a draft horse that would have been pulling a cart or wagon.
Below,a clipped view of a Google.com search for antique hand drills:
Sources: Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union. n.d. (accessed April 2, 2023).
Nov 7, 1917 CE: October Revolution. https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/october-revolution/ Accessed April 4, 2023.
“images of antique hand drills.” Google.com search. Accessed April 4, 2023.