Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Couple from Waldmunchen, Germany

This well-dressed bride and groom are from Waldmunchen, a town in the district of Cham in Bavaria, Germany situated near the border of the Czech Republic.  There is no date and nothing to identify this couple.  The bride is wearing a beautiful headdress, white gloves, a floor length veil and is carrying a large bouquet of flowers.  She is wearing a dark colored dress with unusual lace panels on the skirt and around the high neckline.  She also us wearing several  unique pieces of jewelry as well.  You will notice she is several inches taller than her groom.

The photographer was Joseph Missoni of Cham.  I believe this cabinet card, which is on the black, graphite type cardboard to have been taken around 1900 give or take a couple of years.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tintype Tuesday - Mother and Five Daughters

This tintype of a mother and her five daughters, although undated and subjects unidentified, says to me probably late 1890's or early 1900's.   The mother is second from the left and she is surrounded by her five daughters who appear to be anywhere from seven years to perhaps sixteen years old.  They appear to be not as well dressed as some of the subjects you see in the cartes de visites and cabinet cards of the same era and are perhaps of some ethnic background.  It is a fascinating photograph nonetheless - I find their faces quite interesting.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - Women with Hats - Lady in White

Here is a cabinet card with an unidentified woman from Tiffin, Ohio taken by O. P. Frees.  She is seated on a studio prop "rock wall" and wearing a white dress with a fitted bodice, black hat with white flowers and leaning slightly on a black umbrella.

Most of the clues point to the photo being taken about the late 1880's to early 1890's although it is uncommon but not unheard of to see women wearing white dresses during this time period.  I found the photographer Oliver Perry Frees (4 Feb 1852 - 13 Apr 1921) in in the 1900 Seneca County, Ohio census.  His age was listed as 48, married 24 years to Mary age 47, one son Orva aged 23.   I found a marriage record for an Oliver Frees and Mary S. Wilcox in Seneca County, 22 Dec 1875.  I also found a death record for Oliver Frees in Seneca County on 13 April 1921.  There were numerous Tiffin City Directory records starting with 1903.  I still want to believe that this photo was taken between 1889 - 1894 and it is entirely possible that he would have began his photography career earlier than 1900 even though he does not show up in earlier censuses.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sepia Saturday #127 - The Kine Recline Deep in Grasses Lush

Coming up with ideas for each week's Sepia Saturday theme is always a challenge and this week's theme of markets, cow, tea, coffee stalls was no exception.  As a child my grandparents had a farm in Bonnie, IL where they raised cows and pigs, but sadly other than their house I do not have any pictures.  I do have memories of playing in the barn with my cousins when we met periodically for family reunions.  We had to go through the barnyard gate past all the cows who, although quite docile and tame, scared me half to death.  My cousins would run laughing right past them for the barn,  but I would see all those big brown eyes looking at me so solemnly and I would be frozen with fear.  Those are my memories of cows!

However I made new cow memories in September of 2009 when my husband and I took two weeks vacation, my dream trip, and went to the Highlands of Scotland where we drove from place to place.  I took many pictures on our trip and one of my prerequisites for some reason was I had to get a picture of a long-haired Highland cow.  We saw plenty of sheep, believe me we saw sheep....everywhere.  The cows however seemed to avoid us.  When we did see them it was not possible to stop or they were too far away.  Finally one day on the Isle of Skye we came across this small band of cows who actually wandered over close to the fence to pose for us.  You know, it's the little things in life - even though I took around 3,000 pictures in Scotland these pictures made me a very happy woman!

Highland Cows, Isle of Skye Sep 2009

These two cows actually walked over to the fence as if they were posing for us.  I wonder if they were trained to do that for all the silly tourists stopping to take pictures?  :-)

This guy looks like he was trying to tell us something - get lost maybe?

My favorite shot - he looks quite bored with the whole thing!

And finally, I bought this wonderful old book of the entire 1884 Peterson's Magazine which was a renowned women's literary and fashion magazine published in Philadelphia, a successful rival of Godey's Ladys Book.  This book is so wonderful - it  is full of hundreds of wood engravings, full-page steel engravings, hand-colored steel fashioned plates, articles, fiction, poetry, crafts, household domestics hints, etc.  I am so giddy about owning this book so expect to see a lot more from this in the future.  Today I am sharing a poem written by Alexander A. Irvine from the May 1884 issue along with a wood engraving (artist unknown).

The poem reads:

Oh, my soul, be glad to-day;
All the air is full of May!
Winter, with its storms, is over;
Bees are humming in the clover;
Lilacs waft us their perfume;
Apple-orchards burst in bloom;
Deep in grasses lush the kine;
Chewing slow the cud, recline;
Through the trees the sunshine gleams;
Birds are singing as in dreams;
Waters laugh; and breezes free
Blow as if from Araby!

Check out more "moo"ving stories at Sepia Saturday.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fashionable Friday - 1880's Woman from Cazenovia, NY

This photograph of a lovely young woman from Cazenovia, New York is quite interesting to me as I find myself increasingly fascinated with the fashions of prior generations. There is nothing written on this cabinet card to identity this woman or when it was taken but there are a few clues to perhaps help date the photo. The card is a dark maroon color with the backside being grey which was popular starting around 1884. The dress on this young woman is so common to the 1880's woman with the very fitted, bustled dress. Note the ruching surrounded by buttons from neckline to waistline and a very trim waistline it is! The sleeves on her dress have ruched cuffs that match that bodice. Her beautiful dress has a high neckline with lace and is adorned with a pin or brooch of some sort. Her hairstyle was quite common of the 1886-1888 woman and it is with all these clues that I date this photo with this time frame.

The photographer was Marshall Bros. of Cazenovia, N.Y., most likely Charles Marshall, however I could find very little to identify and date Charles Marshall and nothing in  Also note his monogram at the bottom center of the card; these started around 1886.  There was a very short mention of him on this page:

To give you some similar mid-1880 fashions to compare with this photograph I have included the following:

Although not an exact match to our subject's dress, this dress is from the 1884 Peterson's Magazine and is in the same era.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Seeing Double?

Here are two wedding pictures of what I thought was a cute couple from a foreign country that I have been meaning to post for quite a while.  I can't really read anything on the cards, but I believe the country they are from is Jglo Es Poprad - I am not sure where this is but I believe it is Poland.  These cabinet cards have gilded edges and are most likely dated between 1885 - 1895. The photographer "appears" to be Matz Gusztav, but once again I cannot read the card so I am not sure.   I was looking at them tonight and I suddenly realized they are not the same couple at all although they look close enough to possibly  be two sisters marrying two brothers! The women's dresses and headpieces are identical, the men suits are nearly the same except for a few slight differences.  Take an look and see what you think.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - Women with Hats - Young Lady in Checkered Dress

This is a tin type of a lovely young woman wearing a checkered dress and black hat.  It's very hard to tell from this shot, but she is wearing a large bow tied around her neck, she has small ear-bobs, and she is holding in her left hand a small black purse which is dangling from the side of the chair.

I am having trouble dating this photograph - I want to date in the late 1870's or early 80's due to the fringed chair and the type of hairstyle the woman is wearing with the fringed, feathery bangs.  However the dress is throwing me a bit; there is definitely no bustle.  I wonder if she is younger than she appears to be, therefore would not yet be wearing a bustled dress?  I've tried to blow up the picture so you can better see the details.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sepia Saturday #126 - Family Group Shot in the Front Yard

Ah, it's a family tradition to drag the family outside and pose them for a group picture in the front (or back) yard, usually in the summer when the weather is nice.  I had a hard time coming up with a photo for this week's Sepia Saturday theme, but I thought this early 20th century family, most likely posing in their own yard, was pretty close on theme.  I got this group photo in a lot I bought somewhere all marked on the back, "Grandpa Paul Owens and family."  There is no other identification of the subjects although I would assume the gentleman on the the left is Paul Owens and the woman in the middle his wife with the rest being their children.  I have no idea as to the location and it appears it could be spring as several of them are wearing jackets or coats. I'm not sure how to date this photograph - my guess would be 1920's or 30's. They are all dressed rather nicely so perhaps they were on their way to church.

Update:  Due to the bows in the girls' hair I am revising my date to early 1900's.

Check out more great group shots at Sepia Saturday!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Those Places Thursday - Unknown Chicago, Ill Church 1864-66

This CDV of an Chicago church was taken by photographer, Brands Art Gallery between 1864 and 1866.  We know this by the revenue stamp on the back on the photograph.  During the Civil War a tax was levied on photographs beginning in August 1864 and continued through August 1866.  The photographer was required to cancel the stamp by initialing and dating the stamp which only actually occurred on about 25% of the stamps.  This particular stamp does have the photographer's initials and a date, unforgettably I cannot read either!  A quick search did not turn up anything on Brands Art Gallery.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Workday Wednesday - Tea Time Anyone? Housemaid/Servant to the Uppercrust?

This cabinet card which is a bit scratched up depicts a house maid or servant holding a tray with dishes as if ready to serve her employer.  She is wearing what would seem to be a typical house servant/maid uniform with apron.  There is nothing to identify the young woman and I am not entirely certain of the date.  The photographer is E. L. Sayers of New Bethlehem, Rimersburg and Dayton, PA.  I found a number of his photographs on Google, but no information on the man himself, nor was I able to find anything about him on my old standby,  

In trying to date this photograph, I narrowed it down to the 1890's, most likely from the latter half of the decade.  This was using several factors in dating cabinet cards including that in the mid-1890's some cards were embossed around the edges in gold with a thin line. It is a little harder to date the card using the woman's clothing as the servant's clothing would not necessarily reflect the fashions of the time, they would be more utilitarian.  I could be wrong, however about this timeline and welcome any input.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tintype Tuesday - Row, Row, Row Your Boat to Nowhere!

This tintype photograph of two men staged in a small boat was most likely taken at a boardwalk somewhere as was popular during the tintype era.  See my previous post regarding this issue.  They are both wearing suits with boutonnieres as if they were members of a wedding party.  The background has a definite tropical feel.  These men look rather silly to me.   I can only imagine the young men of today saying to the photographer, "Seriously dude, I am not sitting in that stupid boat."  As is common with most tintypes, the subjects and photographer are both unidentified.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mystery Monday - Gypsy Woman's Identity Solved!

Mary F. Scott-Siddons as Rosalind
Last week in my Women with Hats post,  I posted a photograph/CDV taken by Napoleon Sarony of New York of an unidentified woman wearing a gypsy-like costume.  Sarony was famous for photographing the many actors and actresses of the theater.  I was looking at vintage photos on e-Bay and typed in “actress” and as I was scrolling through them came across several photographs of my subject – Mary Frances Scott-Siddons.  She was indeed an actress; in fact she was descended from the  famous theatrical family that produced Sarah Siddons, John Philip Kemble, Charles Kemble and Fanny Kemble.  Sarah Kemble Siddons (1775-1831), called the "Tragic Muse" was her great-grandmother and had a prestigious acting award named for her by the Chicago group, the Sarah Siddons Society.    Each year since 1952 the society awards the coveted Sarah Siddons Award for Distinguished Achievement to a theater actor for an outstanding performance.  Some of these great actors have included Helen Hayes, Bette Davis, Lauren Bacall, Claudette Colbert, and too many more to mention.  The award was actually created after a reference to a fictitious award of the same name in the 1950 movie “All About Eve.”

Mary F. Scott-Siddons
As I delved into research about my subject and her famous family I unearthed almost more information than I could process.  As the story goes, her grandfather George Siddons was sent to India in 1803 at the direction of King George III as a favor to Mrs. Siddons.  According to Edwin A. Lee in “Mary Frances Scott- Siddons -A Remembrance,” King George said, “Send him to India—India—fine place—make a fortune there.”  Mary F. Scott-Siddons was born in Bengal, India in 1844 to George Siddons’ son William Young Siddons and his wife the daughter of Col. Earl. Early in life Mary demonstrated a talent for theatrical recitation.  She also strongly resembled her famous great-grandmother who died thirteen years before her birth.  At the age of sixteen she returned to England to further her education with her mother and sister after her father’s death.    At the age of eighteen as she was preparing to go on the stage she married a young naval officer named Thomas Chanter whose parents objected to his marriage into a theatrical family.  The story passed down in theater lore is that they created a last name using his mother’s name Scott and her name Siddons.

She made her acting debut using this new name in Nottingham, England in the role of Lady Macbeth, however, the role it was reported,  was not suited for her.  On April 8, 1867 at the Haymarket Theatre in London she appeared as Rosalind in “As You Like It.”  The Bell’s Life of London said of her performance, “The lady bears a striking likeness to her great ancestress, though her form and figure may be pronounced neat and graceful rather than majestic.  Her conception of a character, confessedly one of the most beautiful in the catalogue of Shakespeare’s heroines, was marked by great intelligence…..and the applause bestowed of the most enthusiastic nature.”

Mary F. Scott-Siddon,
Photographers Elliott & Fry, London
Mrs. Scott-Siddon’s first American appearance as a reader of Shakespeare and other poets in 1867-68 attracted much attention largely because of her rare beauty; her features were aquiline, her eyes large and lustrous, her figure slender.  She appeared at the Boston Museum and  made her metropolitan debut on the dramatic stage as Rosalind at the New York Theater on November 30, 1868. The picture I posted last week has been reported to be from her role as Rosalind, a role she performed in repeated engagements. The criticism from this performance as reported in the New York Tribune was for the most part complimentary, “She is not a great actress, but she is largely gifted with talents, and more that all, with that spark of vital earnestness which makes talent magnetic.  While in New York she also appeared in “Romeo and Juliet,” “Taming of the Shrew,” and “King Rene’s Daughter.”  Upon her next engagement in New York in October of 1869 she appeared as Viola in “Twelfth Night.”  The Daily Times gave a pleasant review in part saying, “She infused into the part a sprightliness, a fascination, an arch humor and at times, a subtlety and delicacy of appreciation that were truly delightful and proved her to be a genuine daughter of Kemble.”

According to the New York Times (obituary) “her theatrical experiences in this country lasted a number of years and were presumably profitable.  As an actress, however, her style was amateurish and her manner cold……For a number of years the sales of her photographs were very large.  She was a remarkably good subject for the camera.”

Thomas & Mary Scott-Siddons 

According to Edwin A. Lee who personally knew the Scott-Siddons, she worshiped at the shrine of Thespis" and her husband Captain “Scott" was a votary of “Bacchus” which caused them to separate and which also most likely caused his death probably sometime in the late 1870’s.  After a long absence from America Mrs. Scott-Siddons returned to this country in the early 1890’s and resided for a while in New York.  After one failed attempt at acting at Palmer’s Theatre in a version of Augier’s “L’Aventuriere”   she was no longer seen in the public eye.  She died in Paris on 19 Nov, 1896 at the age of fifty-two.

1.  New York Times, Obituary, Mrs. Scott-Siddons, Published: November 20, 1896.
2.  Wikipedia
3.  Mary Frances Scott-Siddons - A Remembrance by Edwin A. Lee, The Muse Volume Edited by Charles Elston Nixon, The Philharmonic Co, 1903, Pub. Monthly by Arthur B. McCoid, New York (Google e-book).
5.  Folger Shakespeare Library
6.  The Broadway League, 
7.  Meserve-Kundhart Foundation

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - Women with Hats - Early 1890's New Mexico Woman

This cabinet card features a beautiful young woman in black standing next to an elaborate needlepoint frame.  She is wearing a black dress with a very fitted bodice, the sleeves are covered with lace and she is wearing hand mitts.  Her hat is quite pretty, it tilts to one side and appears to be made of lace and a vine like trim.  On the table to her right there is an object that may be her reticule (drawstring handbag or purse).  There is no identification of the subject.

I had a little trouble dating this photo.  At first I thought 1880's but she does not appear to have a bustle.  The uplift to the top of her sleeves says very early 1890's.  The photographer is The Crispell Art Parlors of E. Las Vegas, N.M.  I did find a T. Crispell in the 1885 New Mexico, Territorial District census for Las Vegas, San Miguel County.  He was a photographer, 42 years old, born in New York,  with a wife Millie? also a photographer age 35 and born in New York, one daughter Louise C, age 7 born  in New York as well.  They seemed to disappear from all records after that.  I found a number of websites with Crispell's photos but no information on the man himself.  There is one photo at the New Mexico History Museum of Louisa Carlyle Crispell playing the piano at home circa 1890's.  

According to, around 1890 photographers began placing a monogram of their initials in the center of their studio name and address on the imprint block.  If you look closely at the bottom of the card in the center above "Art Parlors" there is a monogram with the letters TC.  This became almost standard from 1890 to around 1894.  Also about 1890 foil stamped imprints with gold overlay were introduced.  These remained popular until about 1895. Therefore with these two bits of information I will date this cabinet card between 1890 and 1894.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sepia Saturday #125 - 1897 Sears Roebuck Catalogue Tableware

In 1897, the Sears, Roebuck and Co. was four years old and sent, post-free, to millions of American homes its catalogue, or as it was known then, Consumers Guide.  The 770 pages listed an amazing array of merchandise of over six thousand items from every conceivable form of artifact from abdominal corsets to fish scalers, from egg beaters to kitchens sinks and from homeopathic medicines to wagons and carriages.  The genius behind the budding American institution was Richard Warren Sears (1863 - 1914), a former railroad station agent and watch salesman.  The catalogue was received eagerly each year by these  families and was pored over diligently as they made their wish lists.  

Sears' company was capitalized at $150,000 in 1895 and twenty years later listed its assets at over one hundred million dollars!  Half of the original start up capital was provided by Aaron Nussbaum who amassed part of his fortune selling ice cream at the Chicago's World's Fair and his brother-in-law Julius Rosenwald, US clothier, manufacturer, business executive and philanthropist.

For this week's Sepia Saturday theme, I am providing two pages from the 1897 Sears catalogue, a true piece of Americana.


Crockery and China
This last picture is a mid-century kitchen from the October 1962 Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  Mid-Century design is a term that describes 20th century developments in modern design,  between 1935 and 1965.  It is now being recognized as a significant design movement.  

Mid-Century Kitchen, Better Homes & Gardens Oct 1962

Why don't you check out what else is heating up this week at Sepia Saturday?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Those Places Thursday - Deadwood Dakota Territory Couple

Although torn at the bottom and with a small stain this cabinet card of an 1880's couple taken in Deadwood, Dakota Territory was a great find and it opened up a real research adventure for me. The photo shows an attractive well dressed man and woman, husband and wife, he is sitting and she is standing behind him.  She is wearing the typical 1880's style bustled dress.  She also has a beautiful,  but common for the times, locket around her neck and her hair is styled with curly fringes about the forehead.    The photographer was Pollock, Main and Gold Sts. Deadwood Dakota.  On the reverside side the man is identified as "one of the Duggan sons of Henry Duggan, Sr. (Wm. Von Pier?)."

I am convinced that this is William V. Duggan who I found quite easily on born  in Barclay, PA most likely in December of 1855.  His parents were Henry and Ann (unknown) Duggan both from Wales.  Henry Duggan of Barclay, PA had seven sons, the oldest William being born in 1855.  The next son was Henry Pierre born in 1868.  In the 1880 Barclay, Bradford County, PA census 25 year old William is living with his parents and numerous brothers and sisters and occupation listed as student.  Sometime around 1883 he married Mary (unknown) also from Pennsylvania, and before 1884 they moved to the South Dakota Territory where they are found in the 1885 South Dakota Territorial Census. Their son William Jennings Duggan was born 13 May 1884 (1900 Pipestone, Minnesota census).  William age 30 listed his occupation as "lawyer, wife Mary age 23, with one son William age 1/12 (one month) and one servant, Lizzie Janes aged 14.  His brother, Henry Pierre who was thirteen years younger did not marry until 1896 so they style of dress worn by the woman in this photo does not fit, therefore I am certain this is William V. and Mary Duggan.

Wiliiam and Mary would go on to have two more children, Ruth born in 1889 and Mary J. born in 1891.  Mary must have died before 1893, perhaps in childbirth with Mary because on 11 Apr 1893 in Pipestone, Minnesota (just across the state line from South Dakota) William was married again to Georgia Hatch (1871-).  William and Georgia lived in Minnesota until 1910 where they are listed in the 1910 Elkton, Brookings, South Dakota census.  His occupation changed a little with each census, 1900 - insurance, 1905 - life insurance agent, 1910 - hotel ?, 1920 - life insurance.  I wonder what led him to leave his law practice?  William died 27 May 1932 in Brookings, South Dakota .

To further help date this photograph I found this helpful information on the photographer:   In December 1884 Albert Pollock Studio was advertising their "elegantly tinted cabinet photo and walnut frame."  Albert Pollock was partners with E. L. Boyden who bought him out in 1886 and Pollock retired to ranching.  This information comes from the site, which has many wonderful old images from Deadwood.  Since I know that William and Mary were married sometime around 1883 this photograph can be dated between 1883 - 1886. 

Deadwood, the county seat of Lawrence County has such a rich history.  According to Wikipedia it was named for the dead trees found in its gulch.  The settlement of Deadwood was founded in the 1870's and has been described as illegal, since it lay within the territory granted to Native Americans in the 1868 Treaty of Laramie.  In 1874 Col. George Armstrong Custer led an expedition into the Black Hills belonging to the Lakota and announced the discovery of gold on French Creek triggering a gold rush.  This gave rise to the lawless town of Deadwood  which quickly reached a population of about 5,000.  Many prosperous businesses sprang up including saloons and brothels.  The town attained notoriety for the murder of Wild Bill Hickok and he is buried there at Mount Moriah Cemetery as is Calamity Jane.

A fire on September 26, 1879 devastated the town, destroying over 300 buildings and consuming most everything belonging to the townspeople.  Many left to try their luck elsewhere. The Deadwood Central Railroad was founded in 1888 to serve the mining purposes of J.K.P. Miller and associates.  Although electrified in 1902 for operation as an interuban passenger system, the railroad was abandoned in 1930.

Another fire in 1959 came close to destroying the town; about 4,500 square miles were burned.  In 1961 the entire town was designated a National Historic Landmark.  Today the population of Deadwood is around 1,270.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Sioux City, Iowa Couple

This wedding photograph of a young couple from Sioux City, Iowa was taken by M. W. Starks of Genelli Studio located at 607 Fourth Street.  It was most likely taken between 1905 and 1910.  I found numerous city directory entries for M. W. Starks using starting around the late 1880's through 1910. In the earlier years, he called his business the Genelli Photographic Gallery; somewhere around 1904-05 he began calling it the Genelli Studio which would date this photo after 1904.  Interestingly enough, although I found a lot of Starks, I could not identify M. W. Starks in any census except one Iowa State Census, 1905.  

The couple in this picture are unidentified; the back of this large cabinet card is plain with no identifying marks.  This couple is very attractive and well dressed.  Both subjects are wearing white gloves, the bride's headdress and veil are quite lovely and I have seen others like it from this time frame. I also like the unusual pose with the bride seated and the groom standing behind her.  He looks happy, she looks somewhat pensive.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tintype Tuesday - Lovely 1875 Woman

This tintype of an unidentified woman in a plaid dress and lace neckline is most definitely from the 1870's.  She is sitting in and leaning on the arm of the typical 1870's fringed chair.  Her cheeks have been tinted pink, her hair is dark and curly,  and it's a little hard to see but she has what appears to be some kind of hair decoration with leaves and flowers.   On the back of the paper that covers the tin type there is written, "Monday, February 15, 1875."  Why oh why couldn't they have written her name?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mystery Monday - Unidentified Native American Indian

This CDV of an American Indian, photographed by the well known New York City Bowery photographer, Chas. Eisenmann, with his imprint on the reverse. Eisenmann's works date from 1870 to the 1890's and he was famous for photographing the "freaks" of the circuses, sideshows and living museums of the Bowery according to the Ronald G. Becker Collection at Syracuse University.  Although this sepia image is faint, worn and frayed it is important due to the social implications, as the American Indian was an oddity, not only to be photographed in the East, but to be put on display (as P.T. Barnum and others did, circa late 1860s.)

Pastel colors on CDV's became popular starting around 1869 which would put this photo in the 1870's timeline.  Too bad we don't know this young Native American's name or story.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - Women with Hats - Gypsy Woman?

This wonderful, if not a bit worn, Carte de Visite, was taken by the famous photographer Napoleon Sarony who specialized in photographing actors and actresses.  This particular photograph appears to be at first glance a Gypsy woman, but after learning about the photographer I am more inclined to believe the unknown woman was an actress.  Sarony was born 9 Mar 1821 in Quebec, Canada and died 9 Nov 1896, New York City.  According to Paul Frecker he was "as colorful, eccentric and theatrical as his subjects.  A tiny man like his name sake, he enjoyed strutting around in hussar's uniform."

I had a little difficulty trying to date this photo.  According to most sources, he moved his studio from 680 Broadway to 37 Union Square in 1871, however the black background of the CDV tells me this photo would have to be dated at least around 1879.  According to the Classy Arts website the 1871 move date is probably incorrect.  I am going to therefore date this photo around 1879.

Napoleon Sarony, Nat'l Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Unidentified Civil War Era Woman - Revenue Stamp

This CDV photograph of an attractive woman from the Civil War era was taken by photographer S. C. Hansen between 1864 and 1866.  We know this by this revenue stamp on the back.  What is of particular interest to me is that I found a similar photograph on Pinterest that I am certain is the same woman.  What do you think?

Sepia Saturday #124 - Miniature Railway - Easton, PA

I just love this postcard depicting a miniature train full of passengers which was postmarked in 1907.  The train, called the "Black Diamond" was photographed in Easton, PA by E. D. Vogel of the same city.  The passengers, young and old, are all decked out in their finest clothes as if they are on a trip to somewhere important and the engineer is wearing what I would expect a real train engineer of old to wear.  It was perfect for this week's Sepia Saturday theme about miniature trains.

If you enjoyed this post, please roll on down the track to Sepia Saturday to see more terrific pictures of trains, planes and automobiles!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - 1920's New Jersey Wedding Party

This wonderful 1920's wedding photo was taken by the Art Photo Studio, 32 Ferry Street, South River, New Jersey.  None of the members of the wedding party are identified, but all are quite well-dressed and beautiful.  I particularly like the two little girls, probably flower girls, who are each flanking the bride and groom on small stools.
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