Dating carte de visite
Edges By the 1880s, cabinet card mounts sometimes had bevelled edges, and were often finished in gold or silver.Colour The colour of the cardboard mount can also help date the photograph.Paper prints measuring about 5.5 x 4 inches were pasted to standard sized cardboard mounts measuring 6.5 x 4.25 inches.Mount Cabinet card mounts are usually thicker than those of cartes de visite.During the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, this eclectic mix of the public and private included prominent political figures and wartime generals.Although these albums were common in Northern and Southern middle-class homes, they can be difficult to interpret for historians and family members alike.Yet unlike these open-form twenty-first-century media, the book structure of carte de visite albums encouraged a compiler to present his or her story with a thought-out beginning, middle, and end.An excellent example of such a narrative arc is the Perley E.
These leather- or cloth-bound albums, accessible to a range of budgets, allowed collectors to arrange small photographs in a personalized mix that often juxtaposed commercially reproduced images of artworks and celebrities alongside the more intimate studio portraits of friends and family members.In the case of family albums, such personalization went one step further, as compilers mixed portraits of family members with political and sentimental prints.Like so many nineteenth-century documents that to modern viewers can seem like intensely private things—letters, diaries, scrapbooks—family photograph albums were intended for both private and public consumption.Compilations such as the Collings Album were created with the aim not just of recording personal histories, but also of inspiring general interest.In his book “permitted their owners to assemble sequences on their own” as “private panoramas” in personal image albums, creating their own narratives and captions for views of the war.
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Collings Album, a tan embossed leather album kept after the Civil War by a former infantryman.