Category Archives: Others

Warning: two future heartbreakers in the making!

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3 x 5 inches snapshot.

When I saw these two, my heart melted. They are so, so cute! I want to assume they were brothers from the late forties or early fifties. The oldest is amazingly beautiful, and his brother is so charming and cute a bit slumped over, and looking as if a bit shy. My mind wandered, what if these two were model children?

What’s funny is on the very same day I got the picture, someone on my tumblr posted this one:

Same kiddos?

So, what do you think?

Same kiddos?  If they are the same set that would be highly coincidental, but not if their parents knew how cute they were and coached them to pose professionally. Who knows, but I’d like to find out if the ones I have ever did commercial work (gut feeling tells me they did).


Early Colombia Portrait Company button photograph

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Detail of 1890’s to early 1900’s button portrait. ©bahc/c.ryan

This portrait is a beautiful early example of tin buttons the Chicago based Columbia Portrait Company used to make. The three founders Thomas J. Ogara, Thomas J. Durkin, and C.M. Stumcke incorporated in 1893 and the company was successful for nearly half a century before closing its doors in 1940. The name of the company was inspired by the Chicago’s World Fair of 1893 where they must have made their introduction. They made fine oil reproduction portraits and framed button “bubble” photographs they then began to sell on the road across the country.

So let’s talk about this young gentleman. I believe his portrait is very likely the reproduction of a cabinet card/cdv/tintype. The picture is sharp  and he was dressed to impress. His tie stack is impressive too, is this a large gemstone set with smaller ones? (I’m tempted to say they’re diamonds). The button is a smooth matte; unlike the later celluloid examples I’ve seen which have a plasticity or “bubble” effect to them. This portrait looks more like a tintype. I wonder if the young man was at the fair and had it done then and there.

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The button portrait is 6 inches in diameter, not counting the brass frame with hook. The logo is at the back center.

When I saw this button portrait I knew I had to have it. I was thrilled to find a tintype-like photograph in this format, with the sitter easily fitting in this collection. It needed quite a bit of cleaning up too. I usually keep originals alone but I’m looking to find out how to renovate the frame and cover a few age stains.


A lazy afternoon with the dogs

Candid snapshot. Private Collection.

1910s-20s candid snapshot. Private Collection.

A candid snapshot of two men (brothers?) on tipped chairs with two kids lounging in the sun on a lazy day, two of them overrun by three dogs begging for attention! One of the collies looks like it only has one thing on its mind: lick its beloved human’s face.

I’m not sure what is the furry looking thing on the head of the kid to the left.


This cap has a few stories to tell

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Sailor close-up portrait snapshot. 1940’s. Private collection.

Another photogenic sailor, with the handy comb in the breast pocket -you know he had just used for this shot- and a cap atop his blonde head that has definitely seen better days!

Although it may seem that way, I don’t specifically look to collect sailors. But this is a nice close-up, ladies and gentlemen.


Far from Home

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2.5″ x 4″ snapshot of sailor in profile. 1940’s. Private Collection.

A small candid photograph of an American sailor in profile, with local children in the background. Chances are this was taken in the North African region between 1940 and 1943, Libya maybe…

So the photographer asked him to pose for the picture, and his reply was to lean toward the camera and present his profile with the hand of a thinking man. It worked out perfectly! While I find the subject beautiful, the composition is as well. It feels professional even if an amateur took it.


Trio by the river

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Snapshot. Private Collection.

A trio of buddies posing together in the sun by a river, with two in long coats, the third in an Oxford suit.

I’d date this 2.5 x 4.5″ snapshot to be from the 30’s or the early to mid 40’s.


A 1930’s Portrait

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A high school portrait for the yearbook maybe? This is a 4″ x 6″ on thick paper with a blank back.

Ah, the 30’s…starting with the Great Depression and ending in war…I hope this dapper young gentleman survived those tumultuous times. The 30’s weren’t exactly the best decade to be coming of age.


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