Sid, those are real family keepsakes and nice portraits. It's a shame that your grandmother's picture has faded so much as I'd like to see her clothing. The three daughters in the pictures are all attractive. Judging from the hair styles and clothing, I'd place the time around the 1920's.
Question: In the photograph of the one daughter, is she wearing what appears to be half of a pair of glasses? A monocle but with a nose-piece and perhaps a wire that goes over the ear? There's clearly something there but I'm not certain how it's arranged.
Walker, they are indeed. Yes this is late 1920s. Number two is dated 1928 on the back, she was then 22. The girls in number three were 20 in 1929 and 1931 respectively.
Regarding the glasses, they struck me as being very discreet. There are two lenses, frameless, joined by a metal piece over the nose, and a support over the right ear. There doesn't appear to be a support over the left ear. The studio that did no. 2 called it a "cinema portrait".
Regarding the clothing in no. 1, it looks like a white blouse with high collar, buttoned right up, and a large bow in front. There is a second copy, smaller, that has faded more evenly (i.e. overall it's fainter, but with more detail preserved). This also shows vertical pleats over the breast, a couple of inches either side of centre. This was too weak for my flatbed so I'll try to do it with a camera.
Sid, the high collars - sometimes called choke collars - were popular at the time your grandmother's picture was taken. There may have been a practical reason for them as well: keep in the body's warmth.
When I brought my father's things home nearly nine years ago there was a picture of him taken in 1929 in a 3-piece suit. That's what he wore to school each day and he graduated high school that year so his age was about the same as the daughters. I haven't been able to put my hands on that picture since but it'll turn up again.
Again, those are very nice pictures of your aunts.
Thank you all for your kind comments. And thank you Reijo for sharng your collection. It was fascinating to see how the designs of the backs follow the same trends everywhere, whether the language was Russian, Finnish or English. Apart from fashions, another common denominator was the companies supplying materials to the photographic studios. The card on which my grandmother's picture was taken (Brixton or Camberwell in London) was supplied by Trapp and Munch of Berlin. We have just these from my mother's family. But plenty of snapshots from the 1920s and 1930s, my mother was a keen photographer until film disappeared with the war in 1939. There is also tragedy behind these three photographs. They married in 1905 when my grandfather left the navy after 20 years service, then he died in 1911 six months after an exhausting sea rescue operation. My grandmother was refused a naval pension since he had not died on active service, and the fact he did not die on duty meant there were no compassionate grounds. Then she died in 1926 before the girls came of age. So I'm uncertain about the exact ages in picture no. 3, if it's 1928 like no. 2, then my mother (on the left) would have been 19 and the youngest (on the right) 17. So it's probably around 1928-30. I have one more "cinema" portrait, but I can't positively identify it as the fourth sister, it might be a friend. I've been trawling the web hoping to find something on the studios. There are some fascinating sites on the subject, large collections, the manufacturers of the materials, and some studio negative stock scanned and catalogued for a few studios. I'll very the addresses and post them here.