Picture consultancy for individuals and organisations.

Jayne Shrimpton offers a professional service dating and interpreting photographs and artworks for family historians; local history and genealogy groups; historical and art institutions and TV production companies.


Jayne's formal visual training and experience of working across all artistic and photographic media, combined with her extensive fashion history knowledge, has given her a unique skillset, ideal for successfully interpreting historical images. After decades of advising family and local historians and academic researchers, she understands the importance of time and place and can explain each photograph, painting, drawing and silhouette, revealing its historical context.

Example Images

Victorian Studio Portraits

A professional Victorian studio photograph, this is a carte de visite measuring 10 x 6.5cms, the favoured format of the 1800s. The father, a sailor, favours a practical fisherman’s ‘gansey’ and his daughters wear smart daywear eflecting their respective ages. Velvet-trimmed dark woollen cloth gowns were fashionable in the 1880s, these tight bodices with narrow sleeves, high collars, the ‘plastron’ front (left) and pronounced bustle projection (right) dating this scene firmly to c.1886-89.

Family Artworks

Some families have inherited portrait heirlooms: hand-crafted artworks from the pre- or early-photographic age. Typically unsigned and undated, accurately dating each picture helps to identify the ancestor(s) portrayed. This watercolour painting depicts a little girl wearing Regency fashions. Her knee-length frock is juvenile, but stylistically reflects adult modes, its fine white muslin material, low neckline and high waistline indicating the 1810s/early 1820s. Her ribbon trimmings and shoes are sky blue, a popular female colour in the 1800s.

20th Century Snapshots

This is an amateur snapshot taken using a personal camera, reflecting the early-mid 20th century surge in home photography. This couple, who married during WW2, wear smart civilian daywear. His lounge suit is typically loose in cut, the trouser turn-ups (disallowed under the Utility clothing scheme) suggesting a pre-war suit. Her tailored knee-length coat with wide padded shoulders and jaunty feathered hat (headwear not being rationed) represent early-mid 1940s fashions.