Girl with the Purring Cat, 1860s

From Gram Fifield's Album.


An unidentified girl and a contented cat likely in New Hampshire or Maine. The photo is from the album of Gram Fifield (1820-1895). The picture would seem to be from the 1860s.


Gram Fifield and her husband Edward were foster parents for my Great-grandmother Ellen Andrews after her father died in the Civil War and her mother soon after.


Rita, josefnovak33 and 13 more people faved this
  • Becca(at BrightHaven) 4y

    wonderful photo. the cat's not dead, is it??
  • trecrowns 4y

    Such a pretty little girl with a lovely dress and a contented cat!
  • Jim Griffin 4y

    Thanks Becca(at Brighthaven), the cat seems to be sleeping.

    Thanks trecrowns, wish I knew the girl's name. It is lost in time.
  • gt_hawk63 4y

    Great old photo.
  • smokey lace 4y

    What a great little treasure. That must have been a very relaxed cat to fall asleep in a photographer's studio!
  • Crafty Dogma 4y

    Great photo! Victorian photos of cats are much rarer than ones of dogs so this a very nice photo to have on many different levels.
  • Earnest-Lee 4y

    Nice! The beads are a nice playful touch.
  • Glass Eyes 4y

    oh fantastic! Love the cat xx
  • Trish Mayo 4y

    Wonderful photo of that precious little girl and the sleeping cat
  • Becca(at BrightHaven) 4y

    OK, I feel like the bad guy here! I just wondered if it was a post mortem photo of the kitty, since the post mortem photos were popular around this time, were they not? :)
  • Jim Griffin 4y

    Thanks gt_hawk63, smokey lace, Crafty Dogma, a blackbird, Green_Eyes.and Trish.

    smokey lace, yes the cat seems quite cooperative and trusting of the girl.

    Crafty Dogma, I had not thought about the rarity of Victorian at photos, but now that you mention it I don't believe I ever saw a cat posing in a family photo except in this photo
    which was given to me by my Grandfather Archie about 1960.

    a blackbird, I wonder if the pearls were a prop of the photographer?

    Trish, the sleeping cat is a great touch -- wonder if the cat was also a prop of the photographer? Would the girl have brought her pet into town? I am guessing the photo was taken in Berlin, New Hampshire and the girl lived a longish wagon ride of twenty miles or so away in Milan or Dummer, New Hampshire.
  • Jim Griffin 4y

    Becca(at BrightaHaven, anything is possible but I am now suspecting the cat belonged to the photographer, as perhaps did the pearls.
  • Dave Linscheid 4y

    Just a great (very) old portrait. Thanks for again sharing.
  • Jim Griffin 4y

    Thanks Dave.
  • Chez 4y

    Love this photo James! You keep coming up with these treasures!!
  • Jim Griffin 4y

    Thanks Cheryl, Gram Fifield was a collector of photos
    -- not that she labeled any with names or dates.
  • BeautyOfThePast 4y

    What a wonderful, unique photo. Love the girl's eyes.
  • Jim Griffin 4y

    Thanks BeautyOfThePast.
    I have been researching who the girl might have been and several likely candidates have emerged but of course she might have been someone outside the records I consulted.
15 faves
Taken circa 1867
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