Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - Women with Hats - Fashionable New York Miss

This CDV of an unidentified, fashionable young woman from New York City was most likely taken around the late 1870's to the early 1880's.  I base this on several factors. First is the thickness of the card and the single rounded border. Secondly, photographer imprints on the back of the card became complex covering the back between 1870 and 1890. The type of pose, a closeup bust covering 3/4 of the print tended to dominate CDV's  between 1874 - 1890.  Her hairstyle was very popular of the later 1870's woman with curls on the forehead and up-swept bun. Additionally, the fashion of the 1870's trended towards high elaborate collars with much lace and trim about the neck. It seemed the fussier the better.  Note her very fashionable hat with feathers and   attached to her hair somehow to keep it to the side.  She also has what appears to be flowers in her hair and is wearing an elaborate necklace with perhaps a locket.

When I researched the photographer it validated my belief of the dating of the photograph.  The Pach Brothers photographers were well-known for photographing well-to-do, fashionable New Yorkers between the 1860's until the company closed its doors in the 1960's.  They photographed thousands of people over the years and their customers included many upper-crust New York patrons as well as famous figures such as Mark Twain and Thomas Edison, theatrical figures such as Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford, politicians including every American president from Ulysses S. Grant through Franklin D. Roosevelt, and students from Harvard and Yale where they had branches of their studio.  The Pach Brothers were Gustavus (1848-1904), Gotthelf (1852-1925), and Morris (1837 - ?) who came from Berlin, Germany as children.  They got their start in photography in Long Branch, New Jersey a resort for the wealthy where they met Ulysses S. Grant who became a patron and invested in their first studio.   Gustavus eventually moved to New York around 1871 and established the studio first at 858 Broadway and then in 1877 at 841 Broadway.  This would align with my dating of the photograph between late 1870's and early 1880's.  If you would like to learn more about the Pach Brothers please check out this New York Historical Society link.  It has much information on their life and houses the Pach Brothers Portait Photograph Collection which contains over 1000 photographs between the mid-eighteenth century and 1947.  After reading this I feel very lucky to have this photograph in my collection.

1 comment:

  1. I hope she was as pleasant as she was lovely. I enjoyed reading the background of the Pach Brothers and your clues to dating the photo.


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