I haven’t shown you a cabinet card in awhile so I thought that is what I’d do today.
My first thought was 1890’s. Those sleeves are definitely 1890’s. Second thought: her hair is pretty severe and conservative. Third thought: any boy dressed like that now, would be beat up. Fourth thought: darker skin tone suggests a non-European background. I never thought I’d figure out where they were from. But, it seems that at one point, they were in Boston.
Then I flipped the card over.
Lovely, picture on the back…but, I completely forgot about the hand writing. It was the handwriting that originally caught my attention when I was shopping for cards. I could not make out bottom line at all, but I was successful in deciphering the last two words of the top line, “of Adrianople”.
A Google search pulled up this line,
So, it is possible that this family is originally from Turkey. Click on the link above to see a map.
I tried to decipher the rest of the top line and got a hit. Krikor Hagop Basmajian wrote a book called “Social and Religious Life in the Orient”. If you click on the book featured at the above link, you can read it. It is a tract intended for Christian readers who were interested in the Orient and the mission field of the Orient. If you click on the left hand page you can see this photo:
This could be the same family. The man looks very much the same except in the last (and presumably earlier photo) he has more hair. The boy could be the same boy just younger than the first photo. The girl is missing but she may have died since my photo was taken. When comparing the photos, the woman is a bit harder to say “they look the same”. But, I’m wondering if the very different hairstyle is what is throwing me off.
With a little computer magic…
The nose is the same. We can’t see the lips well in the one photo but the smile seems the same. Chin seems to be the same as well. I think I have a later photo of the family. I doubt that this was a particularly rare family photo. I suspect that Mr. Basmajian, as a published author, would have done speaking engagements to churches and other supporters of his mission so he may have had hundreds of these made out to give away. I wouldn’t hold my breath that this was his writing either. The recipient of the card wrote his name down so he’d remember who it was.
I dearly wish I could make out the bottom line. May be you can.