Turn the page: Bar pin beauties

The next page in my cabinet card album features two women who both happen to be wearing bar pins.2a

The lady on the left seems to be a blond with a kind, round face and bright eyes.2b

Her photograph was taken in Buffalo NY by J.R. Potter2cPotter worked in Buffalo 1863-1908.  Sometimes he worked with others and sometimes he worked alone.  He was working alone at this address from 1882-91.2d

The other lady does not have any markings on her card to give clues to location or dates.2e

She seems considerably younger and she seems to have very short hair. She may have a bun at the back but she seems to have very short hair around her face.  She also has something on her head, either a small hat or ribbons.  If she is as young as she seems then ribbons would seem the correct thing on her head.

Turn the page: family

The next set of pages in my Victorian photo album features a lady and a family.


The family photograph has three women, 6 men and 4 children.  So one can assume it is either a group of friends or extended family.  There are no photographers marks on this card to help with location or date.  The photograph seems to be taken in front of a house so is this an amateur photographer?1b

When I zoomed in on the photograph I thought the fellow on the right in the front looked familiar.

1b (2)

I think he looks a lot like this fellow…. (also from the album).  What do you think?  Same guy?SAM_3263

This is the lady on the other page.1c

The St. Mary’s, likely refers to St. Mary’s Ontario.  There was a photographer there by that name who was working 1878-96.  I am wondering if this is a reprint of an older photograph.  Her style of clothing seems more 1860’s to me.  Very pretty lady.


Best anniversary gift ever!

My hubby and I just had our 26th wedding anniversary and I got the best gift ever.  Granted, I was pretty mercenary about how I got it.  You see, I was out and about the weekend prior to our anniversary and I made an impulse stop at my favorite antique shop (which I blogged about here.)  While there, I saw something that I REALLY WANTED but didn’t have cash on hand to buy it. It was also a bigger credit card purchase and the hubby and I agree not to buy expensive luxury items on credit unless we discuss it first.

How to get it?  Gears turn in brain…. Ah Ha!  My anniversary is coming up!  I will get the hubby to get it for me!  I pre-negotiated the price before I left and I said hubby would be in the coming week to get my gift…hopefully!

And judging by the title of this post, he came through!

Antique photo album!

Antique photo album!


Faded blue/green velvet with a brass corner piece.

Faded blue/green velvet with a brass corner piece.


I didn't notice the grasshoppers until I got it home!  Awesome!  There are two but I think there was originally three of them.

I didn’t notice the grasshoppers until I got it home! Awesome! There are two but I think there was originally three of them.


Interesting and fully functional clasp.

Interesting and fully functional clasp.


The spine is still intact as well.

The spine is still intact as well.


The pages have a floral motif.

The pages have a floral motif.


And all the pages are full.

And all the pages are full.


I will be carefully taking them all out, one by one, to see if there are any clues as to the identity of the family that originally owned it.


Could a’ used a Big Mac

I have a carte de visit of a woman with really odd arms.  I’d guess she has very thin arms and a very rigid corset on an already thin frame.  The pose sort of adds to the disproportion doesn’t it.  One could almost wonder if the odd pose is hiding frames to keep her frail or dead body in place.
SAM_3057 They have been identified on the back.SAM_3058

It reads: “A sister of G. Gram.  Mrs. Abramson and her husband.  Taken around 1860.”

My guess is G. Gram means Great Grandma.  The 1860’s looks right for hair and dress.  To bad the faces are so washed out.  I’d love to see what they really looked like.  (And see if she is really alive.)  But, all collectors hope they have a postmortem photo….

From my motherland-Scotland

SAM_2775 a

Love the pin stripes on the lady to the right.

These two ladies had their photo done in Edinburgh Scotland at the Parisian Photo Co.  I found possible dates for this studio (1887-93) here at this site.

SAM_2775 b

Nice jewelry on this lady.

The dresses do not appear to have bustles of the late bustle period (1883-89)…

but do have larger sleeves of the Belle Epoche so I think this would be in the 90’s range for this photo.  If this studio lasted until ’93 then this photo is ’90-93.

Beat up but worth it

This cabinet card was not always treated with love.  I don’t know what happened to it.  Did it get stuck in a frame or album?  Who knows.  Luckily, the subject of the photo is intact.SAM_2760 a

The hair is 1880’s and the skirt seems to be natural form so I would place this in the early 1880’s.

I bought this card, in spite of the damage, because I really liked the detail on her bodice.SAM_2760 b

There are pin tucks on the upper sleeve and braiding or soutache on the body and cuffs of it.  Very nice. Well fitted too.

Two toned gown

The Costume Museum of Canada had several dresses on display during last weekends Doors Open event.  There was a very nice two toned one from the 1880’s.  Enjoy.1880's dress 2 tone CMC a

The sides were asymmetrical with the underskirt peaking out of large cut outs on the over skirt on one side.1880's dress 2 tone CMC bThe other side was draped with the under skirt showing at the bottom.1880's dress 2 tone CMC dOf course, there was a lovely bustle at the back.1880's dress 2 tone CMC cThe bodice had an interesting layered effect at the lower back.1880's dress 2 tone CMC e

Some of the photos make the bodice and over skirt look grey but in reality they were more the purple tones of the other pictures.  (I don’t mind the grey look and might one day create one in grey.)


Fancy photo

I bought a nice cabinet card awhile back with a fancy edge and “background”.SAM_2773 aI don’t think I have anything else like it in my collection!  I’m guessing this is a late 1890’s card based on those scalloped edges but the big ol’ sleeves would have told me the same thing!

I like this girls face…she seems handsome, young and friendly to me.  I wonder what her life was like.

I must admit, though, I bought the card  because of this lovely bodice.  I love the pleats and beads.  Very nice feature.  I’d like a dress made with these details!SAM_2773 b

I’d like to introduce you to Britta

SAM_2754 aIn this photo, I would place Britta at mid to late teens-early 20’s at the oldest.

Britta Abramson (Shoberd) Born 1855-died 1893

Britta Abramson (Shoberd) Born 1855-died 1893

I love it when there are names and dates on the cards.  If it is correct, you can make assumptions.  One assumption was she was married.  If the dates supplied on the back of the card are correct, we can glean two things…1) she did not live long. She would have been 37-38 when she died.  Did she fall to the dangers that many married woman fell to-child birth?  The second thing we can glean is the date of the card.  If she was mid teens to early 20’s then this card was made around 1870-79.

The dress is in good condition but fairly plain and there is very little jewelry (just a small pin at the throat) so we can guess she was not dirt poor but neither was she rolling in the cash!

The maiden name is not British.  In Canada (and I assume it was the same for the States) the ruling class tended to be from Protestant Britain.  Her name is possibly German.  She and her family would have been considered immigrants and worker class…possibly farmers.  The married name is possibly English.