Sepia Saturday 205: Moustaches and mysteries

Sepia Sat 205I featured this photo on my blog nearly three years ago but since the mystery continues to elude me, I thought I’d include it under this week’s Sepia Saturday topic of moustaches. There’s certainly a plethora of all styles of moustaches and whiskers in this photo.

The history behind the photo is that it was found backing another picture which hung in my grandparents’ house. It is quite a substantial size but very much worn as you can see.

Mystery photo includes Denis Kunkel: are the other people Gavin family members?

My father identified his father as the man to the left rear of the elderly seated gentleman. It is very like other photos of Grandad taken about the time he went to war, 1917, or perhaps a year or two earlier. There are a number of young men in the group which might also tie in with that. There are definite family resemblances in some of the faces eg the man at the front left always reminds me of my Dad, and the young woman beside him looks like an older version of Grandad’s youngest sister whose photo appears in a wedding photo.

The presence of women in the group suggests it is not something like a Masonic group, and he had “spat the dummy” with the church so it’s unlikely to be a church group. There is a proprietal air, and I think a facial familiarity, about the older man with his hand on Grandad’s shoulder.

But is it a family group or some sort of social group? If the former it’s most likely to include members of the Gavin family from Pechey and perhaps a handful of Kunkels? If the latter it could have been taken on the Darling Downs or in Brisbane.

It’s certainly a mystery which I would love to solve.

Why not pop over and see what other Sepians have written this week.

16 thoughts on “Sepia Saturday 205: Moustaches and mysteries

  1. Such an intriguing mystery Pauleen! Do you have any idea why the photograph was behind the other picture? Would it be possible to have it restored, so that you might clearly see the background? Front and centre, I wonder who is the man reclining on what looks like an animal skin? I hope you are able to learn more about the image and the event.


    1. No Jennifer, no idea why it was hidden -I guess I was lucky it didn’t just get thrown out. I suspect it might be beyond restoration…back nearly 20 years ago when I tried to have it scanned as a whole image, they snapped it in two. Luckily I already had this copy. May be worth thinking about the restoration possibilities. Like you I wonder why he was odd man out languishing on the rug. Sorry about the delayed reply -somehow you’d disappeared into the spam basket.


  2. A fascinating elusive photograph. Could the woman to the right of the central seated gentleman be his wife – she does look older than the rest of the group. otherwise most seem of a similar age, apart from the young man on the rug. I had an unidentified family group photo of five people which I suspected was a sister of my great grandmother (she was one of 5 surviving sisters). But because of the composition of the family, and likely ages of the children, I could eliminate certain sisters. I was lucky because an internet contact who proved to be my third cousin had the same photo and I had guessed the right sister. With such a large group you have a much trickier challenge. Good luck! . ,.


    1. Thanks Susan, I agree it’s a challenge. The problem is that I have photos of many of my grandfather’s family and while some look similar the ages don’t fit. I did wonder the same thing about the older woman too, and initially I thought it might have been my grandfather’s maternal relatives. Unfortunately his grandfather would have been dead by this time. It’s very frustrating. I keep living in hope that someone will say “oh there’s my xxxx” and the mystery might unravel.


    1. Thanks Kristin. Yes he does look the youngest and hence I thought the lowest in the pecking order until I saw some other group photos (all men) where those lying were not youngsters. Tis a mystery.


    1. I do keep hoping Jackie, hence the casting of the net every so often. It seems improbable that no one else has this photo. Just one more name might open up the solution.


  3. Lots of nice-looking moustaches & a couple of beards here. The fellow reposing in front is a rather handsome dude! But I have a question: The beautiful green picture at the head of your blog – where was that taken? It’s gorgeous!


    1. Yes they were resplendent in their hairiness. If the green picture was a patchwork quilt of fields, then it was Co Clare. The other two which have lots of green are of Dorfprozelten in Bavaria. The images rotate when people log in.


  4. Wow, with the family resemblances, I can see how it would be hard to unravel the mystery. Hope someone out there has some definitive info. This summer, I was lucky to have that very thing happen. A relative I had never met, or even knew about, was at the reunion and she said, in an off hand manner, “Oh, I have the original of that photo.” and Voila! everything fell into place. Good luck on your search.


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