Rossi case: Our first really good look at Mabel

— See Roster of Rossi posts


Mrs. Mabel Rossi — photo received from the Barnard-Stockbridge Collection, Special Collections and Archives, University of Idaho

Well then!  What can we mine from this first real image of Mabel, Mrs. Herman J. Rossi!  I think I notice first the smiling eyes and the petulant — and perhaps sensual as well — up-turn of her upper lip.  The presence of the dog is notable.  It would suggest a target of Mabel Rossi - The_Tacoma_Times_Mon__Nov_13__1916_some claim to sophistication if the breed were not so indefinite.  As it is, the dog seems…well…just a nice dog.  Mabel is dressed for winter — and so her sweater obscures as much as it reveals of her upper body.  The fullness of her face and the billowy fit of the sweater suggest of course that she was no Twiggy.  Yet normal weight for her height and age seem quite possible.  It’s not too hard to see how the sketch artist may have arrived at the rendering a newspaper article offered.  And yet this photo suggests a measure of youth and animation that the sketch somehow did not offer.  Looked at in a certain way, the face could almost be Slavic or Native American in its broad-cheekedness, I thought. How much playfulness lurks in this young woman is hard to say, yet there certainly is some measure of that quality.  There is confidence and assuredness in her gaze, too, I thought.  And certainly still the bloom of youth.  Comments from others — others perhaps better at this sort of thing — are welcome as always!

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2 Responses to Rossi case: Our first really good look at Mabel

  1. Charley Birschbach says:

    Thanks Ron for the pic. Being a young bride, she looks very young in this picture. Also viewing a picture of Herman, they were shorter stature. I imagine that Mabel was “heavy set” for her age. Not knowing her history, the marriage seemed to be arranged as Herman married a very young and innocent flower. Herman was an aggressive businessman while Mabel grew bored by her husband’s absences. However when “Mabel struck back” , she showed intelligence and /or the lawyer’s actions hinted at some small social disgust with the aggressive Herman.
    But Ron you are the expert and I like my Agatha Christie narrative.

    • ronroizen9 says:

      Hi Charley! I was hoping you were still subscribed to this blog and hence would get a look at our Mabel. There was certainly a power differential in the marriage, and that differential certainly rubbed Mabel the wrong way from time to time. But, and yet, I’m no expert in matters of the heart, buddy. I just trudge along like the rest of us! Thanks for commenting! Ron

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