I’m rather excited about the piece I have for you this week.
You’ll have to excuse my tardiness—I had a very sudden bug hit me on Thursday evening and I’ve been out of commission until today. It’s terrible, but it’s also the only time I’ve been sick in several years. I’ll take that over how sick I used to get every year when I was working with the public all the time. Getting that sick now would be far more concerning than it was back in ye olde days as I have no idea how well I’d bounce back!
At any rate.
Cabinet cards replaced the much smaller carte de visite, and in the process, they also managed to toss traditional photo albums by the wayside for a good thirty years or so until manufacturers were able to adapt.
Photography studios got very creative with how they presented these pictures to their clients, especially since the final product would be displayed in cabinets (as per the name) or elsewhere in the home, where they could be seen by anyone instead of tucked away in photo albums.
This folder came with one of the cabinet cards in my collection. It’s heavy cardstock with a slightly-embossed design on the front, and would open up to reveal the cabinet card tucked inside. This is just one example of many that are out there, but this one is mine.
Photographers would decorate their work with their name in fancy script on the picture’s frame and/or holder. You would also find the studio’s full logo in all its stylized glory plastered on the back of some cabinet cards, depending on the decade, or decorating the folder somewhere. Embossing was especially beloved.
So much love and skill went into the creation of each cabinet card and its associated media. Each aspect is a piece of art on its own that’s worthy of study and interest. That’s what I love the most. It also makes figuring out eras a lot easier when there are certain features, like use of heavy cardstock instead of light cardstock, that were all the rage in each decade.
Here is the inside cover of a cabinet card holder. It had scalloped edges—popular in the 1890s—with an embossed design on one panel and the photographer’s information tucked into a corner (C.A. Lee of Listowel, Canada, took the photo that was contained in this folder). A previous owner wrote the information pertaining to the cabinet card: Mary Isobel Jickling, Dec. 23, 1915. She passed away in 2013.
I recommend using the above image as a background for a larger piece. There’s so much texture here! It’s worn with age, but not to the point where it can’t be given new life in an artistic endeavour, and it’s on a canvas-style cardstock. Very cool.
That’s all for today. I am working on a fresh batch of vintage graphics for you all to browse, so stay tuned and see you soon.