James CH Balmain

Pencil Drawing


Who was the Artist?

This pencil portrait has a 'Jas. C H Balmain' label on the back.

What is known about the portrait?

-  Who was the subject?

-  Who was the artist?

-  Was it, perhaps Balmain or one of his workers?

-  Or, was Balmain, perhaps, only involved in framing the photo?

Perhaps somebody else might have seen a similar photo that might throw more light on this one.


Portrait in Pencil bearing a 'James C H Balmain' label

  Reproduced with acknowle3dgement to Vasco Carapucinha, Portugal:  July 8, 2014

Label on the back of the Portrait

'James C H Balmain' label on the back of a Portrait in Pencil

  Reproduced with acknowle3dgement to Vasco Carapucinha, Portugal:  July 8, 2014


This picture was sent to me by Vasco Carapucinha who told me (in Galician!) that he'd like to know more about it..  Can anybody help him?

Please email me if you have any comments about this portrait.




Geoff Dawson

Geoff Dawson, great Grandson of James C H Balmain, wrote:

Mrs Balmain

"According to the family letters that we have, Kate (wife of James CH Balmain) was born on December 21, 1859 and died on May 19, 1917.  So she would have been about 38 or 39 when this photo was taken.

JCH Balmain and other cyclists

The lady mentioned above as being Mrs Balmain looks younger.

What is slightly surprising is that shes the only person in the photo not wearing a hat.  I know it sounds a small point but in those days for a photo, thats most unusual.  As James Balmain is wearing a hat, Id have thought hed have insisted his wife wore one."

Geoff Dawson:  August 24, 2011

Geoff added:

Mrs Balmain

"Could Mrs Balmain, perhaps, be the lady on his left (on the right as we look at it in this photo)?  James has linked his arm with her and they very much look like husband and wife and the lady looks about the right age.

Geoff Dawson:  August 24, 2011




Peter Stubbs


Mrs Balmain

I mentioned the points made by Geoff Dawson above to Malcolm Cant who wrote the caption for this photo in the book mentioned above.

On looking at this photo again, Malcolm told me that he was inclined to agree that Mrs Balmain was likely to be the lady standing next to JCH Balmain.

Malcolm will look at his original notes and try to discover the source that he used when he captioned this photo in his book.

Telephone call to Malcolm Cant, Greenbank, Edinburgh:  August 24, 2011




Geoff Dawson

Thank you to Geoff Dawson for writing again.

Geoff wrote:

Collection of Balmain Photos

"I've recently been in contact with an elderly 1st cousin who lives in Edinburgh, and have discovered that she has a huge collection of James C H Balmain photographs and letters. She has offered them to me but is reluctant to post them so I hope to visit her fairly soon so as to allow me to go through her collection.

Balmain Cycling Photograph

"My cousin mentioned she has a copy of this Balmain cycling photograph, and confirmed that the couple 2nd from the right in this photo are definitely James C H Balmain and his wife, Kate Field:

JCH Balmain and other cyclists

  Reproduced by courtesy of the Yerbury Family.   Click here for link to web site.

My cousin also told me that:

-   the young boy on the far right of the photograph is one of their sons, George Balmain (1886-1958).

the young girl on the far left is the sister of George Balmain on the far right.  She is my grandmother who I remember very well.  (She lived at 6 Salisbury Road)

-  the other four people in the photo are apparently friends of James C H Balmain from the USA (where he was born) who were visiting Edinburgh."

Geoff Dawson:  May 6, 2013



James Charles Halyburton Balmain
Photographer with studio in Edinburgh



Balmain Family

JCH Balmain  -  recreation

JCH Balmain  -  photography

George Haliburton Balmain

Studio addresses and dates

Cramond *

Maule's Department Store *

North Berwick  seaside *

North Berwick  model yacht

North Bridge elephant parade  

Princes Street  West End  

Princes Street  East End  

St Giles Cathedral *

Portrait  Wood Family 

 * Possibly by Balmain: found in the Yerbury Collection.
   The Balmain business was
taken over by Yerbury.


Pencil Portrait



Kenneth Field Balmain
Photographer who lived in North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland

Son of James CH Balmain

Photographs of Edinburgh and North Berwick