For your evening’s delectation, here is a nicely hand-colored CDV of an anonymous lady from Havana, Cuba. This is only the second CDV I have with an association with Cuba – I have a C.D. Fredericks that lists the Havana studio on the back mark, but is not necessarily taken there. In this case, Mr. B. Palmer, Artist, Havana is the only designation, so I must assume the photo was indeed taken in Havana. No street address is mentioned, which would be neat to have to be able to cross-check at some point in the future to see if his studio still stood. The entire backmark is in English, so I wonder if he catered to the tourist trade exclusively. The lady in the photo appears to be an adult, so I’ve called her Dama and not Señorita.
Two more CDVs – a Brady from the DC studio, and judging by the backmark style, a later (post Civil War) image. The sitter is reputed to be named John Randolph, one of the FitzRandolphs of Philadelphia (or could it be the FitzRandolphs who gave the original land grant to found Princeton University?). Evidence is unclear, but the picture is very.
The second CD is from the Fredericks studio, of New York, Havana and Paris. As the subject is toreadors, I’m guessing this was taken at either the Paris or Havana studios. Bullfighting has never had any serious following in the United States, so toreadors would be unlikely to come to New York on a performing tour of the US. I thought I had another Fredericks CDV somewhere in my collection, but I’ll be damned if I can find it – I may have just recorded the address on my New York studio map during a scan of studio backmarks on eBay.
This is another image that could have been marketed as “gay interest”, thankfully it wasn’t. Despite their costumes and matching fey poses, there’s nothing about them that shouts (or whispers) 19th century code for gay. Pure 21st century wishful thinking.