Young roller skater in Calcutta

If only we knew her story!  Alas, she isn't identified.  Her carte-de-visite was made by John Bowles Newman, whose studio was at 5, Old Court House Street, Calcutta (Kolkata).  The only information I found online about Mr. Newman was that he filed a petition of insolvency in 1879.  It always makes me sad to read... Continue Reading →

“Hop picking, Leeds area”

This carte-de-visite came to me from Massachusetts, but it didn't originate there.  The title of the post is taken from a handwritten note on the back. Update: Readers all agree that the location referred to was most likely the village of Leeds in Kent:   The British Hop Association has the following information on its website: The... Continue Reading →

Love in silhouette

This carte-de-visite came to me from England (Northamptonshire), but it has nothing written on it to identify the sitter or photographer.  The photo (print) was cut into an oval shape and glued onto a paper mount with an oval frame design already printed on it.  Such cartes were generally made after someone had died, as... Continue Reading →

Poised and confident in Porto, Portugal

I found this carte-de-visite for sale in Massachusetts, which is the state with the second-highest number of Portuguese Americans (after California).  Who was this elegant young woman, posing confidently at an instrument a century and a half ago?  And what kind of instrument was it, exactly?  It looks too narrow to be a piano, yet... Continue Reading →

Ann Birkin, chevener to Queen Victoria

The woman in this carte-de-visite portrait isn't identified anywhere on the photo.  When I bought it last year, I never expected to learn her identity.  Three weeks ago, while browsing the website of Britain's Royal Collection Trust, I noticed a woman who looked very familiar.  The first thing that drew my attention was her shawl,... Continue Reading →

Family in Buenos Aires, Argentina

This carte-de-visite may be the only photo from South America in my collection.  The family isn't named, but a stamp on the back identifies the studio.  It looks like Compania Fotografica, Rivadavia 420, Buenos Aires: Avenida Rivadavia is a major thoroughfare, and 420 is in the heart of the downtown area, surrounded by museums and... Continue Reading →

Henry Lenthall, early British photographer

The man above is Henry Lenthall (1819-1897), a photographer who operated a studio at 222 Regent Street, London, where the photo was printed.  The studio had been established in 1856 by pioneering daguerreotypist William Edward Kilburn (1818-1891), when Kilburn moved there from his original (smaller) studio at 234 Regent Street.  In 1862 Kilburn retired from... Continue Reading →

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