Thursday, October 25, 2012

1864-1866 Girl in Pantaloons - CDV with Revenue Stamp

This CDV photograph features a sweet young girl from the 1860's era, probably about five or six years, standing next to a chair wearing a gingham dress with pantaloons.   She is so adorable with her tight curls and the pursed lips, almost a frown. During the Civil War, faced with heavy financial demands, Congress passed on June 30, 1864 a new tax on all photographs, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes or any other sun-pictures, to be paid for by attaching a revenue stamp on the back of the photograph. The stamp tax on photographs was repealed effective August 1, 1866.   Therefore we know this carte de visite is dated between 1864 and 1866.

The amount of tax required for a carte de visite was determined by the cost of the photograph.  In this case the 3 cent "Proprietary" stamp tells us that this CDV  cost between 25 and 50 cents.  Photographers were required to initial the stamp although you will find that this is not always the case. You will see that on the back of this CDV the photographer did indeed initial the stamp, however, as there is no photographer's mark we unfortunately do not know the identity of the artist.  


  1. That is indeed a cute picture! I'm rather surprised, though, at the off-the-shoulder style of the dress which today seems more "mature."

  2. It actually wasn't that uncommon I don't believe. I have a couple more pictures with the off the shoulders dresses in young girls and I also found some pictures in my 1860's Peterson's Magazine books.

  3. And like so many things styles like that seem to be returning.


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