Fisherman by Maffett, Boston Spa, Tadcaster UK
Here’s another fun one – really quite bizarre, actually when you think about it. The sitter is posing with a corsage in one hand, a fishing rod in the other, wearing formal attire, standing next to a table with silver candlesticks, that looks like it might be an altar. In a photographers’ studio. Was he on vacation? A hobbyist fisherman? It’s certainly not an occupational because this is definitely a gentleman of leisure, not a working fisherman. And what’s with the corsage?
In keeping with my recent backmark/blind stamp post, I like this one a lot, as it tries to connect portrait photography with painting, or at least bridge the gap. There are quite a few in a similar vein, a definite response to the notion that photography was merely a mechanical, technical operation and not a true fine art.
I fell off the wagon again, as it were, with this image of a team of horses pulling a wagon. Dates and location unknown, but it’s a pretty big tintype – approximately 5″x7″. I’m assuming it’s an American image, but the wagon doesn’t look like a type I’m used to seeing in early American images. But I’m no wagon expert – anyone who knows more about this stuff, could they be English?
Horse Team and Wagon, anonymous, date unknown (2nd half 19th century)
Ok- I managed to succumb to indiscretion and bought the rest of the “C.R.” cartes-de-visite. If you’re new to my blog, I posted earlier about this set of cartes-de-visite a “C.R.” purchased and collected during what I assume was his (not hers) journeys across Europe during and after the US Civil War. It’s a fascinating travelogue spanning three countries and twenty-one years. Two of the images in this second set are in fact photo reproductions of sketches. Given the dates and locations of the earliest ones in the set, one can’t help but wonder if “C.R.” was a Union or Confederate supporter, perhaps even a Confederate agent sent to the U.K. to try and purchase arms and ships for the Confederacy. Or was “C.R.” just a Northern businessperson whose work frequently took him to England, Scotland, France, Italy and Germany (there were one or two more in the set that I was unable to acquire that showed German churches) and had a soft spot for ecclesiastical architecture?
The oldest one in the complete set of nine CDVs dates from July 1864, and the last one is May 1885. Here’s the complete set, in chronological order.
AllowayKirk, Ayr, Scotland, July 16, 1864
Chester Cathedral, July 19, 1864
Palazzo Diamantini, Ferrara, December 29, 1864
The Cathedral of Pisa, January 1865
Church of St. Michael, Dijon, France, November 1867
Villa Pallavicini, Genoa, November 25, 1867
Interior of La Nunziata, Genova, November 25, 1867
Genova Cathedral, 1868
The Cathedral of Rouen, France, May 31, 1885