Pose with hand inserted in coat

Discussion in 'Portraiture' started by BetterSense, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    http://www.mikelynaugh.com/VirtualCivilWar/New/Originals2/pages/Anderson.html

    The above image is from the Civil war. That site has many interesting images from the civil war, probably wet plates?

    Anyway, the pose--with the hand inserted into the partially unbuttoned coat--I have seen that in lots of old pictures. What's the explanation? Did people put their hand in their coat like that as a matter of course and the photographs just reflect a popular pose, such as a pose with the hands in the pockets?
     
  2. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    I've read it has to do with Freemasonry. Who knows for sure?
     
  3. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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  4. Denis K

    Denis K Member

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    Similar to the question of why some tuck their tie in between the buttons on their shirt. Some say this is the proper dress for certain military situations, but even so, the question is how did these styles and poses get started.
     
  5. likemarlonbrando

    likemarlonbrando Member

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    i heard that it had started with paintings. hands were hard to recreate so they were asked to be tucked into the jacket. I guess the look stayed popular for photographs as well.
     
  6. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    *******
    All that artistic tradition notwithstanding, we APUGers know the REAL reason:
    those gents were actually photographing the photographer. They are reaching in to trip the shutter on their waistcoat-button, cravat- knot, or stick-pin hidden- cameras, dontchaknow! (wink).
     
  7. Barry06GT

    Barry06GT Member

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    .
    Maybe he had cold hands.
    .
     
  8. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Actually they were all garment QC people, checking button spacing and stitching quality.

    Lee
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It probably makes it easier to hold still for the (in modern terms) long time exposure.

    Matt
     
  10. PeteZ8

    PeteZ8 Member

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    The clear answer is, obviously, that these photographs were done by early paparazzi. The hand was placed inside the coat because, due to the proper decorum of the time, publicly displaying a middle finger would have been a huge socail faux pas for the subject.
     
  11. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    They may have itchy stomachs!:D

    Jeff
     
  12. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Early form of 'texting' using morse code and a miniature telegraph key hidden in vest pocket.
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    They had GAS and could not get relief because computers, KEH and eBay did not exist.

    Steve
     
  14. rpsawin

    rpsawin Subscriber

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    Feeding his pet raccoon????
     
  15. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Not bad Pete, but the real reason is the high bean diet in the military in those days. His hand is firmly on his abdomen, explains the pained expression as well.
     
  16. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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  17. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    According this source, "In real life," Miller observes, "the 'hand-held-in' was a common stance for men of breeding."

    Sort of like how current "men of breeding" (or those wishing to appear so) walk around with the collars of their polo shirts turned up or with sweaters draped over their shoulders.
     
  18. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Portraits of Napoleon and Nelson etc showed the same pose. My understanding was that, until the advent of the sewing machine, one was obliged to hold up one's trousers. The hand in the jacket, (and remember "low-risers" or "hipsters" had yet to become fashionable) was essential in order to distinguish early portraiture from early pornography. Lord Admiral Nelson, apparently very much annoyed by this pose requirement is reputed to have said to the artist: "All this fuss over a little thing like that !" :D:D

    Bob H
     
  19. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Nelson and Napoleon were both men of very small stature about 5' 4" putting their hands in their coats made them look bigger and more important and impressive.
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    it is comfortable to stand with your hand like that.