The mystery family portrait, painted on a sheet of metal.
Today, for the first time, I unpicked the nails from the back of the frame, hoping to discover a name scribbled on the reverse, or even a date written in the margins underneath the frame. Alas, I didn't discover anything like that, but what I did discover was that this portrait is actually painted on a thin sheet of metal. I assume it is tin. You can see how the acid from the paint has begun to eat through the metal on the back.
The eerie imprint of the portrait on the reverse.
I don't know a great deal about nineteenth- or early-twentieth-century fashion, and I don't know anything about portraiture or painting from the turn of the century, either. Based on the little I do know about fashion, hairstyles, and accessories, it looks like this portrait could have been done any time between about 1880 and 1920. We're hoping some of you with deeper knowledge about the nuances of these decades in fashion and art could help us narrow that down a bit more. When was painting on sheets of tin most popular? What decade does this hairstyle or these earrings or this type of collar suggest to you? Any insight at all in helping us solve this mystery would be most appreciated!