Wednesday, December 17, 2008


One of my hobbies is collecting photographs of trains, the fashion accessory not the mode of transport. In this enterprise I have been greatly assisted by my friend the Rev. Dr. B. M. Porter, with whom I also share an interest in old photographs of people wearing σπατς, πατχες, and μονοκλες (for which, stay tuned).

Queen Alexandra (1844–1925) (above) wears a magnificent coronation train, lined with ermine (1902). The pages are (from left to right) Viscount Torrington, Master J. W. Bigge, the Earl of Macclesfield, and the Marquess of Stafford. The Hon. Edward Lascelles, Lord Claud Hamilton, the Hon. Robert Palmer, and the Hon. Arthur Anson held the far end, and are therefore a long way out of frame to the right.

This is a cardinal’s train of crimson watered-silk, tastefully arranged for a delightfully informal portrait photograph, with λής. Can any of my readers identify the coy sitter?

The 1920s was a period of crisis for the train:

1 comment:

  1. The 'Coy Sitter' is Andreas Rohracher, archbishop of Salzburg/Austria from 1943 to 1969, primas germaniae and - unfortunately - NOT a cardinal. The archbishops of Salzburg (even today) have the privilege to wear red instead of purple, so it's easy to mistake them for a cardinal.

    BTW: If you are a fan of ecclesiastical trains, you should definitely check out this webpage: