Victorian Cross-Dressing and Circus Dogs

To take a break from the High Heel Race photos, here’s two new CDVs in the antique image collection.

Cross-dressed Women by Mattheson
Cross-dressed Women by Mattheson

This pair of women in men’s clothes are rather unusual for the time period (1860s-early 1870s). Without knowing any back-story behind the photo, it’s hard to tell if this was just a couple of friends on a lark dressing up like lads (the mustaches were added by the photographer, much as hand-coloring or gilding of jewelry would have been done, for an additional fee) or if this was a comic way of expressing a deeper relationship between these two women. Without knowing, I’m filing this in my collection under the category of “Performers”, because it certainly is a performance of gender and gender identity, and it COULD be a theatrical, like the Ike Partington photo I posted earlier. I don’t know if there was a comedic play of the time period that called for women to play men’s parts.

Jack Russell Dog in Circus Ruff, Uruguay
Jack Russell Dog in Circus Ruff, Uruguay

This is a CDV I bought from a vendor in Uruguay (on Ebay). These two photos kind-of go together in that the dog is wearing a ruff, so in some way he’s probably a circus performer. This is a heavily restored version of the CDV – the idiot seller shipped it basically in a plain envelope, with no protection, so it arrived with a MAJOR crack running across the CDV just above the dog’s head. I thought I’d at least preserve the image content and post it.

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