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
The Weeping Ghost. 1890’s-1900’s cabinet card. Private Collection. (Click for larger image)
I’m in love with this cabinet card. On the left, a young man is weeping, holding a handkerchief to his face as he fades into the backdrop and chair, while the other one is engaged, solid, to lend an ear at his disembodied friend. Those Victorian sensibilities!
I am not 100% certain the ghostly effect was meant to happen, but I would not be surprised if it was intended because it all feels perfect as is. The light, airy lace curtains on the sides help give this photograph an ethereal effect. I could write a story inspired by this beautiful photograph.
Close-up. Click to enlarge.
On the close-up you can better see the expression of concern. And here’s the whole card as is:
8 Comments | tags: 1890s-1900s, bowler, duo, ghost, weeping ghost | posted in Cabinet Cards, Groups
Cabinet card. Portland. Private Collection.
There are some pictures that attract me like a moth to a flame, and this is one of them.
This young man’s face and expression remind me of cherubs in classical paintings of the same period. He also reminds me of a very young Robert Frost.
Logo on back of card.
Photographer: Conanb. Artistic Photographer. 478 1/2 Congress St. Portland. Maine.
3 Comments | tags: 1890s-1900s, Conanb, Maine, Portland | posted in Cabinet Cards, Teens
Cabinet card. 1890s. Private Collection.
I love everything about this cabinet card; the pose, the handsome subject in his flawless attire, and the set-up with the vase and curtain taking half the space in the background. This young gentleman doesn’t look a day over twenty- if he even was- but he was married already. His swept hairstyle adds to the youthfulness.
Photographer: Atelier Muller. Barenstein Weipert. Germany.
2 Comments | tags: 1890s-1900s, portrait | posted in Cabinet Cards, Teens
Close up of tintype. Four wearing ribbons and medals. Private collection.
These four are definitely Americans wearing ribbons on the chest. One has the two crossed flags with an eagle at the bottom. The other ribbon reads I was sober when I came. :) Two of these gentlemen also wear a medal next to the ribbons. I think this was an electoral or semi formal military event, and the three in light clothes are wearing military uniforms with the black tie tucked in. One’s wearing a fancy black ribbon bowtie I’ve also seen worn with uniforms but seems to have been less common. They’re all wearing the same hat too.
The gent to the back right chose to wear a civilian suit with pins on the lapel, but he looks to have a uniform shirt and tie on under the coat. Maybe this event wasn’t formal enough to require a strict dress code. Interesting too that one of them is wearing a double buckle belt (maybe only interesting to me but worth mentioning…)
The chinese parasol made me laugh; it adds a soft, even humorous touch to this group portrait.
I think this was taken in the 1900s. Finding out what event the ribbon with the flags was for would help date this picture more accurately.
Tintype in mat with flap.
2 Comments | tags: 1890s-1900s, medal, ribbon, USA | posted in Groups, Military, Tintypes