The above photograph was sent to me by Val Erde (with grateful thanks!). Val saw the photograph of John Lovekin and Alice Dean in my previous post and it reminded her of this postcard, which has been part of her own collection for some time.
Here is a reminder of the photograph in my blog post:
The likeness between the two couples is uncanny, don’t you think? Val and I have speculated that they might even be the same people! I have to tell you, it sent shivers up my spine when I saw it, because that would be a coincidence indeed. Particularly as the Lovekin photographs in my possession have lain unseen for many years, and have not passed through anyone else’s hands.
Close inspection is needed to determine if the likeness is real or superficial. So far, much as I would love it to be John and Alice in Val’s photograph, we are both agreed that ‘the jury is out’. So we would welcome your opinions and observations.
Here is the lady on the postcard, alongside Alice Dean from the various photographs that I have of her. Obviously there is an age difference. Alice Dean was born in 1865 and the portrait second from left is the only one with a date (1923), making Alice 57 or thereabouts:
If I understand correctly, postcards with a divided back were first introduced in the UK around 1902. If this is Alice Dean, then she would be at least 37 years old in Val’s photograph, with a possible twenty year difference between the first two images.
For me, the most striking similarities are the glasses, the centre parting (in the first two photographs), face shape and the thin upper lip. A major difference lies in the eyes, although this might be due to squinting into the sun? The ears look different too.
Next, I have placed the man from Val’s postcard alongside portraits of John Lovekin. It is much more difficult to make a comparison this time, not least because two of the portraits come from grainy newspaper images. Plus, the cap has shaded John’s eyes in the second image:
Similarities are beard, face shape and nose. Differences include the eyebrows, which appear to slope upwards to the bridge of the nose in the case of John Lovekin, though it might only be the deep shadows giving this impression. Val pointed out that the ears look quite different, with John Lovekin’s right ear appearing to have a pronounced dent in it. Left and right ears can differ on the same person though, so again this isn’t conclusive.
When putting these photo montages together, I spent some time overlaying all of the faces and was struck by how accurately the proportions seem to ‘fit’. Nose length, distance between eyes and general face shape are all very similar.
Unfortunately, the handwriting on the back of the postcard doesn’t provide any clues, being quite dissimilar to the limited amount of writing on the back of Lovekin related documents and photographs.
Thank you again, Val, for contacting me with your photograph.
Have we missed anything? Val and I would love to know what you think!