Category Archives: Cabinet Photos

Frozen in time by ‘The Elliotts, Makers of Pictures’

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The Elliotts – Austin, TX.

The Elliotts, Makers of Pictures photo studio was owned and operated by a couple, Martyn (1871-1936) and Jane (1871-1955), of 814 Congress in Austin, Texas. Jane, sometimes referred to as Jean or Jeannie on family documents, was a full partner – a rare and uncommon practice at the time!

Martyn and Jane were both 30 when they moved to Austin in 1901, and opened their studio. It remained successful until the Great Depression when Martyn’s increasingly failing health, and the poor economy pushed them to sell the business and negatives to Jensen Studios and Student Publications.

During their years as co-owners they managed to land exclusive contracts with the State of Texas’ legislature and the University of Texas annual where their daughter, Sarah Pelham Elliott, graduated in 1929 with a degree in stenography.

Was this serious looking teen a University of Texas student? Was it Mrs. Elliott he saw behind the camera?

As all good photographers, Jane must have had a knack for making people comfortable in front of the lens. I imagine she must have had to work hard to assuage preconceived notions, and to gain and maintain a successful, professional and personal reputation in an era when women were not expected to own businesses, and especially not in a field traditionally occupied by men.

She should have seen mindsets slowly changing from the 1900s to 1930s, with  women gaining the right to vote in 1920,  around the middle of her career.

And photographs speak for themselves. This nice shot would have made a fine class portrait in the ’20s to mid ’30s.

Source: Sanders and Elliott Family Papers


De’Ath & Condon vignette portrait

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Alaric Hawkins De’Ath operated a studio portrait at 32 Bank Street, Ashford (England), and from 1913 on partnered with Arthur James Condon. He passed in 1931. They may have taken this small vignette portrait during the Great War or after, and the sitter isn’t too shabby, is he? There is no name to aid IDing this fine English gent. We only hope he came out of those troubled years relatively unscathed.

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As if catching his reflection in the oval mirror…

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1890’s-1900’s cabinet card. Private Collection.

This one gave me a chuckle. This gentleman looks like a deer in the headlights with his wide eyes. And with him looking partly off-shot, it gives the impression he just  came into view and got caught off guard by his own reflection.

On a side note, yes it’s been a month since I last posted, to the day. I didn’t realize it’s been this long. Like everything else in life there are periods when I actively collect (and feverishly so!) and others when I don’t so much.  However, the drought is soon to pass and I will be responding to emails today. ;)

 


This Hatted Gent

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A sepia tone hatted gent of the Gilded Age, on a cabinet photo with a flap. He has a tie pin and pins on the lapels, with a large brim hat he decided to pose with. This is a small portrait, about 2″ x 3″.

There is no photographer info or name, but by the tight coat and short lapels this looks like it was taken in the 1900s at most.


Flat, Slick and Shiny

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Young man with slicked back hair. 1923, Hostetler studio. Davenport, Iowa. Private Collection.

A profile portrait taken in 1923. It came in a nice folder frame with the photographer info, and still has the protective sheet.

If you ever wondered why great grandma’s armchairs always had lace doilies on the top of the backs, now you know the habit was born out of wanting to protect her precious furniture from her household’s intentionally greasy heads!

Photographer: Hostetler. Est. Since 1888. 212 West 3rd St. Davenport. Iowa.


Mr. Prom King

Zamsky Studio. Philadelphia. Studio portrait. Private Collection.

Zamsky Studio. Philadelphia. Studio portrait. Private Collection.

Well, apart from saying just how obviously photogenic this sitter is…This portrait is a 5″x7″ in a 7″x10″ matte with flaps…but the mailman violently (yes, I’ll say violently) shoved it into my mailbox and bent it at a 90 degree angle. The seller never put a “Do Not Bend” warning on the envelope. I was, to put it mildly, fuming! But after some reshaping the crease isn’t so apparent and a little photoshop helped too. But…I’m still reeling. Vintage pictures that managed to survive decades if not more, suddenly damaged in shipping?  I can’t even…

But, I’ll calm down.

I wish this sitter was IDed. Pretty, wasn’t he? And as such he earned a spot in this collection. The 50s was such a wonderful yet deeply flawed decade, but its fashion aesthetics are still timelessly elegant.  I need to live in a parallel universe with today’s technology, civil rights and back then’s style. :)

Photographer: Zamsky. Philadelphia.


Mr. Cocky

Cabinet photo circa 1900. Private Collection.

Cabinet photo circa 1900. Private Collection.

Maybe it’s just my impression but this good looking gent has a bit of a conceited expression. Maybe he was just trying to look regal. :) There’s no photographer info and no name. The actual cabinet photo is in terrible shape, but Photoshop helped give this otherwise forgotten gentleman’s portrait new life again.


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