Portraits

Antique Cabinet Card of Portrait - Richardson Brothers, Brooklyn Photographers
  • 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.

    I love this 2nd generation image of a dapper older gentleman. It looks like the original portrait was watercolor on paper. Don’t you love the man’s facial hair? A small row of beard on the edge of his chin (is this a goatee?) and long sideburns that don’t quite meet the beard. I have a harder time dating men’s clothing than women but I would say the original portrait was circa 1830. I love the single-breasted waistcoat with the shawl collar and lapels inside his opened double-breasted frock or tail coat with the wide lapels, one showing the button holes. And that wavy grey hair with just a bit of comb-over right in front. Be still my heart! studio of “Richardson Brothers/105 and 107 Broadway/Below 4th/Brooklyn/E.D..” The studio stamp is on the reverse of the card only. The only information I can find for the Richardson Brothers is that they worked in Brooklyn in the 1880s and 1890s. Cabinet card. 4.25”x6.5”. Minor wear, light soil.

    6795    $40