The King's Own Borderers photograph album is a 54 page, 23.4 x 15.5 cm embossed leather bound album containing portrait photographs of individuals and groups associated with the Stoney family and the British army's 25th Regiment of Foot known as The King's Own Borderers. The images are cartes de visite, with some larger albumen prints and tintypes interspersed. The album contains a wide variety of other visual materials including photographic prints of artwork, pen and ink drawings, calligraphy, newspaper clippings, printed cartoons, and greeting cards. The cover of the album is inscribed "G. Ormond Stoney/King's Own Borderers/5th July 1864." The album appears to have evolved over time in several different stages.
The King's Own Borderers photograph album is a 54 page, 23.4 x 15.5 cm embossed leather bound album containing portrait photographs of individuals and groups associated with the Stoney family and the British Army's 25th Regiment of Foot known as The King's Own Borderers. The images are largely cartes de visite, with albumen prints and tintypes interspersed. The cover of the album is inscribed "G. Ormond Stoney/King's Own Borderers/5th July 1864." The album contains a wide variety of other visual materials including photographic prints of artwork, pen and ink drawings, calligraphy, newspaper clippings, printed cartoons, and greeting cards. The album appears to have had at least three different stages of construction. The first as a traditional 1860s carte de visite photograph album kept by its namesake G. Ormond Stoney (hereafter referred to as Ormond) comprised of photographs of family members interspersed with related newspaper clippings.
The album appears to have been revised with significant additions in the 1870s-1880s, including more photographs of family members as well as commercial photographic prints. The majority of those represented were army officers, with Anglican priests and politicians; many being contemporaries and associates of Ormond's father, George Butler Stoney (1819-1899). Clipped autographs of many are included beneath the photos and appear to be from correspondence to George Butler Stoney.
Various clues to point to Ormond Stoney's sister Jane (Janie) Stoney Smith as a contributor to the album. Not only is she frequently represented in the album, but the album has several pictures of her husband Arthur Smith and his family--many more so than any other family that married into the Stoney family. Arthur and Janie married on September 19, 1867--the same date on the autograph posted under Arthur's picture. Arthur died in 1870 leaving Janie a pregnant widow with a young son, Herbert (see p.24 for his portrait), and an even younger daughter, Ethel Maud. Newspaper clippings around the portrait of Arthur on p.13 mention his death as well as the birth of Herbert and Ethel, though not of Florence, the youngest daughter. Although Jane's two daughters are not represented in the album, on page 44 it appears that at one point a photograph of both of her daughters was extant.
While Jane's younger sister Wilhelmina married Colin McKenzie Smith, another son of William Smith, she did not do so until 1889. The focus on Janie's husband Arthur and their children, suggests Jane rather than Wilhelmina as a significant contributor to the album.
George Ormond's wife Meylia has not been identified in the album and may not be present, however, her father, Sinclair Laing is represented. Laing appears to have been a correspondent with George Butler Stoney.
At some later date, likely in the late 19th century, decorative gold painted borders were added, along with chromolithograph stickers, known as "scraps." These include a series illustrating Robinson Crusoe. Unlike the earlier additions which point to Janie Smith, these later additions might have been the work of a child playing with what would have been a 30 year old album. The gold paint overlapping earlier items (see p. 28 for example) suggests a later date, as do the "scraps" made popular after 1880. The seemingly random nature of the placement of the "scraps" is quite the opposite of the carefully placed and planned addition probably done by Janie Smith.
Of the children represented in the album, three of them would be killed in World War One: Thomas Ramsay Stoney (1882-1918), George Butler Stoney (1877-1915), and Herbert Stoney Smith (1868-1915).
Other items of note include:
- Two group portraits of young men in military uniform, presumably with George Ormond present in both photographs (p.2, and back inside cover).
- A portrait of a dog that if viewed from another angle appears to be an individual with a disfigured face (p.7).
- A commercial carte de visite of a Zulu warrior identified as King Cetewayo (likely incorrect, the chief of the Matabele) (p.41).
- A portrait of Napoleon, Prince Imperial, in his military uniform ca. 1879 before he died in the service of the British Army during the Anglo-Zulu War (p.40).
- A print of Rosturk Castle in County Mayo, Ireland (p.47).
- A retouched portrait of a dog posed with a military hat, cane and pipe. (p.23).
- An 1873 program for an "evening reading" of two different farces, "Little Toddlekins," and "The Dead Shot," done to raise money for Mrs. Palmer, the retiring battalion nurse (p.53). On the outside of the program is a print of Portland House, a manor owned by members of the Stoney family.