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.
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.
6 Comments | tags: 1890s-1900s, button, edwardian, high collar, portrait, USA, victorian | posted in Others, Teens
c. 1930-40 photo portrait. 3.25″ x 4″. Private Collection.
Someone wrote “Guess who?” on the back.
“Is this..? Oh my God, it is!” I imagine the recipient said when they first gazed at the portrait, and then a small smile formed in response to the genuine one on display.
This young man posed in his zipped up leather aviator jacket with a plaid scarf around the neck and dotted tie. His smile is endearing, with the hand tinted cheeks. Some say he bears a striking resemblance to Matt Damon. I can see it, do you?
6 Comments | tags: 1930s-1940s, smiling, USA | posted in Photobooths, Teens
RPPC of Harold and Woods Ballies, c.1910. Private Collection.
These two look effortlessly elegant. Harold and Woods posed in their stiff collars and loose suits for a formal portrait. Hopefully they did their mama proud!
RPPC: AZO 1904-1918.
11 Comments | tags: 1900s-1910s, brothers, duo, portrait, USA | posted in RPPCs, Teens
1900’s RPPC. Private Collection.
I love this portrait for many reasons; the weathering adds a certain something to it that’s hard to describe, this young man’s also a bit nervous and awkward like he didn’t quite know how he would pose after he put his hat on the floor. And the backdrop drape is not figurative but painted more abstractly.
RPPC: Back typical of North American cards of the period, but with no stamp box.
1 Comment | tags: 1900s-1910s, curtained hair, full figure portrait, portrait, USA | posted in RPPCs, Teens
Occupational tintype ca 1880’s. Private Collection.
This teen is posing with a CDV size piece of paper in his hand. He’s also sitting on what looks to be a hanging dark oil cloth. He’s resting his arm on some sort of machine behind him. A Difference Machine as was suggested by another collector? I’m not sure but this looks to me like it is photography or plate printing related. The seller thought it was a voting machine. A person suggested it is a balustrade, but I digress…I welcome opinions. What is it?
7 Comments | tags: 1870s-1880s, occupational | posted in Teens, Tintypes