Portraits

Antique Cabinet Card of Portrait - Hardy Boston Photographer
  • I recently acquired a group of 2nd generation photographic images. These are photos taken of something like a portrait. The portrait is the first generation image and the photo is the second generation of that image. I’m not an expert on antique photographs but I love the idea of a portrait being so important to a descendent that the family decided to have a photograph taken to share with other family members. We know that sometimes silhouettists were asked to cut multiple figures and sometimes portraitists painted second portraits for family members.

    The current group are all cabinet cards. Carte de viste (1859-1889) was the first type of photograph made from a negative, which allowed multiple photos to be printed from one sitting. The photograph was printed on thin paper which was then glued to thicker paper or card. Cabinet cards (1866-1903) are basically the same as carte de viste, usually glued to larger card, sometimes with the photographer’s trade information below the glued photo and/or on the reverse. Around 1880, the cardboard mount for cabinet cards started having beveled edges, sometimes with a gold or silver color in the bevel.

    Here is somebody’s grandma who not only had her portrait painted, but was important enough that the family had a photograph made from that portrait. A pencil inscription on the reverse identifies grandma as "Anne Adams Tufts, J.W. Sanborn's-Great-Great Grandmother". The studio stamp of "Hardy/No 493 Washington Street/Artist Photographer/Boston, Mass." is below the photo and on the reverse of the card. Armory Nelson Hardy was a Maine born photographer. His studio at 493 Washington St, Boston was from about 1879-1889. 4.25”x 6.5” Minor soil and light wear.

    #6789    $30