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  • Photo Enhancement Skills Needed

    Here is the famous wedding photo of the Henry Longabaugh, Sundance Kid, and Etta Place. There is a lot of mystery about these two and their partner Butch Cassidy. Among other things, nobody has any idea of the real identity of '(Ethel) Etta Place'.

    I like most any kind of mystery and one of the first things I did when I got internet was to blow up this picture to get a better look at what looks like heavy lace or braid decorations on Etta's dress. I know quite a bit about historic clothing and these decorations seemed asymmetrical and were of a style I have never seen. I thought these features which I believe are very unusual, might point toward identification of the lady.

    My enlargements seemed to show these decorations to actually be jewellery. I would guess heavy silver in a southwestern pattern.

    A recent HD effort by a researcher, IMO created artifacts in that it almost looks like a ribbon or ruch is threaded through a heavy lace. It does not look quite right either.

    ADDITIONALLY, note that the same pattern is repeated in what appears to be a belt. I see no purpose for a heavy braid or lace to reappear like a belt. The outfit is extremely well tailored and probably was very expensive.

    I have spent a number of years searching for a fabric or lace with this pattern and found nothing like it. I also keep my eyes open for silver work with this pattern as many Native artists have had particular styles for their work. The closest I have found is Mexican silver work.

    SO....of course it comes to mind that maybe the outlaws transferred loot to South America in the form of heavy silver jewellery. I even discussed this with an expert in this history but he said the last great score by these bandits was in gold and there is no indication silver was transported to South America.

    Anyway, I want a clearer view of the decorations on this dress. It also looks like a bead on a chain is hanging down from Etta's left wrist which also has this heavy decoration. Was she wearing a bracelet with the same design?

    I have the crazy idea if this is silver jewellery, maybe it is still in existence. I keep looking around online for this or something like it.

    I don't know if I am asking a lot in my request. I have no idea how long or difficult the really great enhancements, like Richard's work, is to do. I just clipped this picture off the internet, choosing it because it was the clearest. Maybe it has been enhanced and a more original version should be used.

    If anyone has the capabilities and is willing to work on this I would be very grateful. Thank you in advance!
    Attached Files
    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

  • #2
    Hi Anna,

    The focus is very soft, which tells me this is probably a low resolution copy - maybe even a copy of a copy. Would be difficult. Internet images are low resolution by nature as they are sized to fit.

    If you can obtain a high resolution copy there would be a better chance at enhancement.
    Best Wishes,
    Cris Malone
    ______________________________________________
    "Objectivity comes from how the evidence is treated, not the nature of the evidence itself. Historians can be just as objective as any scientist."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cris Malone View Post
      Hi Anna,

      The focus is very soft, which tells me this is probably a low resolution copy - maybe even a copy of a copy. Would be difficult. Internet images are low resolution by nature as they are sized to fit.

      If you can obtain a high resolution copy there would be a better chance at enhancement.
      Thanks, Chris. My only source is the internet so I am not sure how to proceed.....? Theoretically I could go to one of the museums that owns one of the pictures and see if I could photograph it...or something.

      (My original results were with an internet image but accurate or not, those details I mentioned are unusual enough that I think they are very important.)
      The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
        I see no purpose for a heavy braid or lace to reappear like a belt. The outfit is extremely well tailored and probably was very expensive.
        Hi Anna


        I think I've mentioned before that examining one's own assumptions is a great way to not be led too far astray. I don't know if you are on a wild goosechase, you could be on the right track, but:

        I don't think the dress look very particular - seems rather ordinary for the time - and the scarf around the arm and belt do not to me look like jewellery.

        You see no purpose for heavy braid to reappear as belt - so it couldn't? Of course it could. That's pretty much exactly what it looks like: a heavy braid used as a beltlike accessory.

        Extremely well tailored - says who? All clothes at the time were tailored, so how is this different from other wedding dresses at the time? You assume it was probably very expensive, what do you base this on - today's prices?

        To investigate further, why not find out which museum or archive has the or an original and ask them for a highresolution scan?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
          Hi Anna


          I think I've mentioned before that examining one's own assumptions is a great way to not be led too far astray. I don't know if you are on a wild goosechase, you could be on the right track, but:

          I don't think the dress look very particular - seems rather ordinary for the time - and the scarf around the arm and belt do not to me look like jewellery.

          You see no purpose for heavy braid to reappear as belt - so it couldn't? Of course it could. That's pretty much exactly what it looks like: a heavy braid used as a beltlike accessory.

          Extremely well tailored - says who? All clothes at the time were tailored, so how is this different from other wedding dresses at the time? You assume it was probably very expensive, what do you base this on - today's prices?

          To investigate further, why not find out which museum or archive has the or an original and ask them for a highresolution scan?
          I have been looking for original outfits and trims for quite some time. The outfit is not that unusual. What makes it exceptionally fine is the cut of the fabric, the many pieces used, for example in the skirt and some other details. The couple was in the northeast and then in NYC so it would make sense if an expensive outfit was purchased.

          As far as the trim, I do very fine needle work and know some about making that sort of thing. I have never seen anything like that and cannot find anything similar in any collection of vintage clothing, trims, fabrics, etc. It DOES look strongly like Mexican or southwest silver work. In my enlargements, which may or may not be valid as per what Chris said, this trim or whatever it is seems stiff and somewhat angular and it just does not seem to fit the design, especially at the elbow on the left. That at the waist really looks like a decorative belt. I have always thought something looked out of place, even years ago when I saw the picture in a book.

          It is possible, maybe probable, because of what Chris said, that any enhancing I did with the picture began with faulty information and could only yield more mistakes. (But I actually drew out the design and began modeling it in polymer clay with the idea it was silver work. Elements of the basic design are found in Native American silver jewellery. Whatever is in the picture, it would make a beautiful design in silver.)

          It is possible it could be a trim made somewhere like Mexico. I have a lot of family pictures of Spanish and Spanish-Mexican people in very fine clothes with heavy lace and braid on garments. Still, there is nothing like in the picture. By that time in history most of that decorative work would have been done in factories and it seems there would be other examples to view online. There are Pinterest pages with hundreds of vintage garments, fabrics and trims. (Even whole pages devoted to fly fringe which was made by hand in Spitalfields and Whitechapel during the days of the Hugenot silk weavers.) Whether it is lace, braid or jewellery in the picture, IMO it could have originated in the U.S. southwest and it MIGHT give a clue to the woman's identity.

          I appreciate all the in-put. My methods are crude and I am always glad to learn.
          The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes, All these low res and multiple-copied images do is introduce inaccuracies and artefacts and then any enhancements simply magnify the artefacts.

            Need an original OR a first-generation copy at least to be able to get a decent result.

            The middle one (B&W) of these three is the better one...

            https://jtr3d.com/2019/10/24/sundance-enhancement/
            ------------------------------------------------------
            http://autumnofterror.com | http://JtR3D.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for that sharp image, Richard.

              The belt and bracelet look very much like metalwork.

              Comment


              • #8
                THANK YOU SO MUCH, RICHARD!

                In some ways the items look like they could be fabric, for instance a lace or applique production, but that at the elbow does not lie right. It appears to be in panels and not as soft as fabric. The scalloped edges really look like southwest silver design.

                There are some things I have programmed into my brain to seek. My best friend is worse than I am for thrift stores and yard sales so we see a lot. Jewellery like I think is in the picture is one thing I look for, or the pattern in any medium.

                In my cruder enhancements, I thought I found definite metal working details. Those details have a different look in the new enhancement but it could still be the same thing. I am an artist but not a metal worker. I have thought to learn metal working and reproduce this design. I could reproduce it in fabric applique and embroidery and might give that a try. (I have amassed quite a bit of silver from yard sales. A number of people where I used to live, believed tarnished silver had no value. I am ethical and even explained to them that it was still sterling silver, .925, but they insisted that once it turned black it was worthless. Thus, 50 cents for half a pound....)

                It would be an interesting project to reproduce the pattern in fabric or metal. I do think whatever are the original items, they are a strong clue to the mystery.

                There are fine, heavily appliqued fabric decorations, many including couched metal threads and even jewels. (It was a hobby for bored courtiers at the court of Louis XVI to pick the gold threads out of such items for the gold value.) Even so, there is a strong, repeating pattern shown in the picture and the original items must have been reasonably long.

                I have also considered Mexican silver horse tack being displayed in the wedding picture but that does not quite make sense. Silver horse tack is impractical and for show, despite what is seen in western movies. But it might make an impression in Argentina where the bandits were headed.

                Next summer I could easily travel to the Colorado museum which has an original copy though that one is said to be somewhat damaged. My in-laws were contemporaneous with these outlaws but generally in two different worlds, unless the Etta Place saga does include Pancho Villa as some claim. Plus, the last great robbery by Butch and Sundance was at Winnemucca, NV, which is not far from me. Their stashed supplies and horses were said to have extended into the southern border of Idaho. I know that land very well and have camped in those places many times.

                There is some indication that Etta Place was actually rancher Anne Basset whose father's ranch included or was close to the 'Robber's Roost' of the Wild Bunch. The South American time line does not work out quite right for this woman to have been Etta all the way through the tale but these people lived on the edges of society so I don't see any reason why there could not have been more than one woman thought to be Etta. Other researchers have said similar. It is possible the decorations on Etta's dress still exist, perhaps in a museum or collection in Colorado or Wyoming or even, maybe Idaho.
                The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                Comment


                • #9
                  No problem, Anna.
                  If you ever get your hands on an original or really good copy we can produce something with fewer artefacts and more accurate detail.
                  ------------------------------------------------------
                  http://autumnofterror.com | http://JtR3D.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RichardH View Post
                    No problem, Anna.
                    If you ever get your hands on an original or really good copy we can produce something with fewer artefacts and more accurate detail.
                    The best original is probably in the Library of Congress, donated by the Pinkerton Agency. I suppose a copy of that would be a first generation copy?

                    However that is, I am in a good location to continue to seek original materials from this history.
                    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It has been a long time since I researched this general subject. When I did, about 2012, I read everything I could find online and communicated online with a couple of the top researchers. As I do here at the Forum, I look for little crumbs of information because the big information is usually already found. Anyway, I was looking for more reproductions of the wedding picture and got to a site called "Criminal Element". It has a link I could surely mess up so I clipped a comment below an article.

                      This is the ONLY time I have seen anything like this even mentioned.

                      Also, in the picture, what looks like a sock with a tassel on the end, around Etta's neck and hanging down, is actually said to be a coin purse. I have a very old pattern to make one of these things. They are tubes that work like some cravats. I think too they could be made on a spool with nails.

                      Other researchers have commented on the 'dog collar' around her neck which is not buckled in front. That term applied to tight collars like this worn by women. I wonder if the photographer chose to open the collar for a better effect. Imagine the collar buckled and it would take away from the striking pose, IMO.
                      Attached Files
                      The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Once again displaying my ignorance:

                        Library of Congress makes available online a "first generation" reproduction of the picture. It is free to download as a Jpeg but there are several options for the Jpeg. A couple hundred whatever kind of bites or 51. What is best for further enhancement, if any? There is another option other than Jpeg but I have never heard of it and am not sure I can do it on a Google system. I do well with Jpeg and PNG, whatever that is.

                        Others have played around with this picture and NONE of this work indicates to me that the decorations on Etta's dress are anything but jewellery. (One colorized version depicts these features in gold though I do not think the artist means gold jewellery.)*That at her left elbow seems to encircle her arm and puffed sleeve without following the contours of the fabric. Then there is the comment I clipped and posted below that seems to describe what I am seeing.

                        *The reason I say silver is because of the black, oxidized areas in the design. This is frequently done with silver but seldom with gold.
                        The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If what I see in the picture is jewellery, I think parts of the design are similar to techniques used on items in these clips.

                          Mexican silver work is significantly different from Native American work though both traditions have similar roots.
                          Attached Files
                          The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
                            If what I see in the picture is jewellery, I think parts of the design are similar to techniques used on items in these clips.

                            Mexican silver work is significantly different from Native American work though both traditions have similar roots.
                            Anna,

                            Some time ago, there was a shop called ‘Santa Fe’ in Bruton Place in the West End. They sold native American crafts including Navaho silver jewellery. My wife bought quite a lot of it. A different style from what you are looking at, less European.

                            Not particularly relevant, I know - sorry!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                              Anna,

                              Some time ago, there was a shop called ‘Santa Fe’ in Bruton Place in the West End. They sold native American crafts including Navaho silver jewellery. My wife bought quite a lot of it. A different style from what you are looking at, less European.

                              Not particularly relevant, I know - sorry!
                              That is exactly relevant! The Mexican silver work looks more European. It is more directly based on Spanish work. Both traditions began with Spanish silver work but Native American work tends to use designs with special meaning to those people.

                              I have an idea the jewellery in the picture is made with similar technique to the ring a couple posts below.
                              The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                              Comment

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