Card Photographs

European Card Photograph Styles

European Card Photograph Styles

The following table shows card sizes gleaned from a catalog published by Loebenstein Co. photographic supplier and maker of the Elvira Cards line of card stock in Wienna (Vienna, Austria) about 1910. There are other 12 tables also in this source. Popular card styles, such as the carte de visite, cabinet card, Boudoir, Imperial, and Promenade cards are seen along with more unusual styles named after

Carte de Visite

The carte de visite is easily recognized by the small card on which the photograph is mounted. In this format, a small paper photographic print is mounted on a commercially produced card. The carte de visite (commonly abbreviated to CdV) today is not a rare item, being produced by the millions in the nineteenth century.

Recognizing Copies and Enlargements of Old Photographs

Recognizing Copies and Enlargements of Old Photographs

Jehu Montgomery.

Recognizing Cased Images

Cased Images

In the early days of photography an image was often put in small wooden or plastic case. The Daguerreotype was made on an extremely delicate and fragile copper plate coated with silver. In order to protect the image from oxidation the plate was sealed into a glass "sandwich" to form what is called an image packet, which was then placed into a small wooden case for protection.

Cabinet Card

The Cabinet Card has the appearance of a larger version of the carte de visite, retaining the photographer's imprint and exhibiting similar styles of decorative artwork on the card face or back. Like the carte de visite, it consists of a paper photographic print mounted on commercially produced card stock of standard size. Despite the similarity, the cabinet format was used for

Estimating When A Carte de Visite Was Made

A carte de visite can usually be dated to within two years through an understanding of it's features. Gallery operators replenished their supply of card stock about every six months and card manufacturers encouraged this demand by brining out a new line of decorative cards each year. Because of this constant change, a card mount offers the best clue to when a carte de visite image

Photograph Types

Types of photographs.

Estimating the Date of a Cabinet Card Image

The cabinet card shares many features and characteristics with the carte de visite. At first, the styles of cabinet cards followed those of the carte de visite. As the popularity of the cabinet card rose, it began to dictate style to the waning carte de visite. The earliest cabinet portraits, introduced in 1866, were a larger version of the plain Bristol board carte de visite stock with the usual gilt borders. There has not been as much research on the cabinet card styles as on the carte de visite styles, therefore they may be more difficult to assess.
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