Great War MIA Russian Hussar In Field Cap and Fur-Trimmed
Pelisse with Riding Crop, C 1914.
Measures 3 ½" by 5 3/8". No studio name. Pre-printed
"postcard" reverse. Hussar views the camera with appropriate
attitude. Reverse has undated six line inscription: "This is
my cousin, Alexander Martinovich" a Junior Lieutenant who
went missing in action while fighting the Germans.
Excellent condition showing only normal wear. There was
apparently a mark on the hussar's cap that the photographer
retouched with a brush - if you hold the photo at an angle
you can see that there is a dot of something that was
applied to the surface just to the side of the cockade.
If black and white film of the early twentieth century was
more color sensitive, it might be possible to guess what
unit this hussar was a member of from the shade of his
pelisse. Since that early film sometimes registered even the
brightest colors as dark or black, it is impossible today to
try to make an educated guess.
It is one thing to wonder what happened to the soldiers in
old photographs - but in this case it would seem that the
fate of the soldier depicted was already a mystery during
the immediate lifetime of his friends and family.