Edwardian Street Style – Photos by Edward Linley Sambourne

Creepy it might have been but these photographs taken in 1906/7 enable us today to see the natural posture and clothes of women walking around Kensington and west London of the time.

Edward Linley Sambourne

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Kensington, 26 June 1906

In 1906 the 62 year old Edward Linley Sambourne was the chief cartoonist at Punch magazine but he was also a particularly ardent amateur photographer. He had initially taken it up to help with his cartoon figure drawings – he had formerly used life-models to draw from. In his later years, however, photography became more important and his wife Marion wrote in her diary that his hobby had become almost an obsession. One of the attic rooms in his home in Stafford Terrace was converted into a studio and the bathroom had become his dark-room.

His photographs of young women taken around 1905-1907 (not long before he died in 1910) are fascinating not least because he used a concealed camera. Creepy it might have been but these photographs give us a chance to see the natural posture and clothes of women walking around Kensington and west London of the time. Suddenly the stiff, staid and unnaturally posed pictures of Edwardians are forgotten. Despite the huge hats and Edwardian clothing these are women we would recognise today.

 

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

30 June 1908

Edward Linley Sambourne self portrait 1890

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Cornwall Gardens, 20 February, 1906

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Kensington Church Street, 8 September 1906

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Kensington, 8 September 1906

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Kensington, 4 July 1906

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

St Albans Road, 12 July 1907

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Cromwell Road, 19 June 1906

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Kensington, 3 July 1906

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Kensington, 27 June 1906

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

St Albans Road, 10 May 1907

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

St Albans Road, May 1907

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Kensington Church Street, 2 August 1906

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

21 July 1905

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Kensington 26 June 1906

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Kensington, 26 June 1906

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Cromwell Road, 15 May 1907

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Cromwell Road, 26 June 1906

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Cheniston Gardens, 29 July 1906

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Cheniston Gardens, 29 July 1906

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Kensington Church Street, 2nd May 1906

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Notting Hill, 20th July 1906

Edward Linley Sambourne Kensington photography

Kensington Church Street, 2nd August 1906

These photographs are mostly taken from the brilliant Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Library Time Machine blog where you can find out much more about the fascinating Edward Linley Sambourne. His house at 18 Stafford Terrace is also open to the public.