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.
This stern looking woman wore circa 1815 to her portrait sitting (mob cap tied under chin & wide neck ruff). Following the idea that older people tended to wear fashions long after they were fashionable, I would date the portrait as circa 1825. And before you say it, she may have been stern, but some family loved her enough to make a 2nd generation photo of her earlier portrait. The studio stamp on this cabinet card is of “C.L. Howe/Photograph/Brattleboro, VT.” 4.25”x6.5”. Minor wear, light corner crease (upper left), light soil, stains on the back..