This cabinet card was made at a studio called Atelier Mąke in Gnesen, Prussia, which is now Gniezno, Poland. An astute visitor to this page, D.B. from Milwaukee, informed me that Atelier Make was owned and operated by a woman named Ludwika Mąke, who worked as a professional photographer in Gniezno for 35 years. That’s quite a career! Most nineteenth century photographers stayed in business only a few years.
The first thing that drew my eye was the large antler handle of the man’s walking stick. The second thing was his mustache. Going out on a limb, I’d say he looks Polish, rather than German. I haven’t seen many early portraits from Poland, but elaborate walking sticks aren’t common in German portraits from this period.
The cabinet card was in a box of family photos I acquired from Ohio. A few early ones were from Sweden, but I haven’t noticed any others from Poland or Prussia.
Page updated January 31, 2021.