Cabinet card: hard use

I have a new cabinet card that I may have chosen to pass up because of the damage.IMG_20170502_083602793

Someone has, clearly, taken scissors to it to get it into a frame or album and at some point it got folded.  But their faces are still clear.  And the part that I go for…the clothes…are still visible.  They have big 90’s sleeves with massive collars.  The dresses appear to match.  I’m thinking these are sisters.  And their names my be…IMG_20170502_083631886

…Emma and Bertie.  (I like to imagine that the younger girl visited her older sister.  In honor of the occasion, the older sister made matching dresses and arranged for pictures.  After the younger girl went home, the older one picked up the pictures and inscribed the above message before sending it to her sister.)  It was this personal info (and reasonable price) that convinced me to buy it.  FYI Gananoque is in Ontario.

Shirley’s Dearly Departed

I want to share a cabinet card with you.  It isn’t mine.  My pal, Shirley, carries this one around as a prop when in costume.  You all know it is the props and accessories that make a dress look like an outfit.  Part of Shirley’s “story” is that this is a “dearly departed”.Arlene's 1I found a reference for Bigelow in Dowagiac that says his full name was Bigelow, Hervey S. and he worked in that town from 1883-1902.  Since the card has scalloped edges, it would be from the 1890’s to 1902 (when he stopped working in that town).

There is some writing on the back.

Arlene's 2

I think the name is Mrs. J. E. De Grow.  The rest could be an address?  Directions?

Just slipped in a little shopping

Last week, we took some of the seniors at work out for lunch.  We had some time before our reservation so we wandered through some of the shops located in the same building.  And there was an antique shop in the basement. Ahem.  Need I say more.

I found a cabinet card and a carte de visite to add to my collection.  The poor carte de visite has suffered a bit through the years. It has been folded in half and someone has taken scissors to it…probably so it would fit in an album or frame.IMG_20170502_083602793

The ladies have a bit of an 80’s bang frizz going on but some serious 90’s sleeves so I’m guessing this is an early 90’s photograph.

Gananoque is a small city in Ontario Canada. Ganonoque is a tourist town  in the summer because of the Thousand Islands area.  It is possible, these two ladies were tourists OR residents of the town.  Finley would have been the photographer.

There is an inscription on the back.


To sister Emma with best love from Bertie. (CM1- is the vendor name and price)

So one of these ladies is Bertie.  I like having a name for my photographed people!


Lacy jabot

I’m down to my last carte de visite in my collection so looks like I will have to buy more.  I sacrifice greatly for my 10 readers.  (Tongue in cheek-you know the hoarder in me just wants more-more! I tell you-more!)

The last one is of a couple.  Perhaps a wedding photograph?  That jabot is a beauty isn’t it!IMG_20161211_182655275

To get a date for this carte, I will say the hair style is earlier than 1880’s.  The dress looks to be Natural Form, which is 1877-82.  The very thick boarder on the card stock itself was a common feature of cartes between 1877-80.  So best guess is it is a late 1870’s carte.


A quick Google search revealed that the photographers business was taken over by a nephew in 1890 but I wasn’t able to get any firm dates about when he was in business in Bucyrus Ohio.

Hope you enjoyed!

Lots going on here!

I’m sharing one of my carte de visites today.  It is of a woman standing in an ornate studio backdrop.


Just look at that dress!  Ruching everywhere!  I can’t say I like the sleeves but the skirt is amazing! She has a very heavy chain with a pendant at her throat.  There are chains behind her left arm that would be for a watch.  She also has some sort of bracelet on her right wrist and possibly on the left as well.  The high lace collar is amazing!  This lady is very well off, I think.  The hair style is very 1880’s but I can do better with the date…


If the information I found on the internet about the Fletcher Brothers in Birmingham is correct, this card was created between 1880 and 1883.  Prior to 1880, the studio occupied 148 Wheeler Street.  At some point between 1880 and 1883 the studio acquired 146 as well…they expanded.  In 1884 the street was renumbered and the address was 212-214 Wheeler.  So assuming they were not using up years worth of cards with the old address printed on them, this photograph was printed on or near the dates that the studio address was 146 and 148 Wheeler…1880-1883.

Two toned 1880’s dress

I’m enjoying an 1880’s carte de visite I acquired some time ago.  The lady in the couple is wearing a two toned dress and I’m trying to decide if she managed to pull it off.  I’ve always liked dresses with mixed fabrics but I think it is hard to do it harmoniously.


I like the bodice but I’m not so sure about the skirt.  I wonder what it looked like in color.