Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

Here we have another early 1860s vintage CdV. The distinguishing characteristics are the simple card with no photographer’s information, the absence of borders around the photograph, and the simple furnishings. After the Daguerreian era but before the flush of CdV popularity, the furnishings offered by a photographer were quite simple, often consisting of a chair and nothing more. Around 1865 or thereabouts we begin to see more props, such as a table or pillar in the background, as the process of photography became more artistic.

Our subjects are a young girl and probably her father. The girl is holding a hat. Her dress is a lovely example of youth dress in the 1860s. She has a short sleeved dress, the bodice of which is gathered onto a waistband, and then a gathered skirt with one or two growth pleats. Her drawers show below her hem and then you can see her tiny boots. Her hair is dressed very simply, as befitted a little girl of less than 6 years old. She also has on a necklace, which might be a family piece or have some sentimental value to her. The fabric of her dress appears to be checked, which is an excellent method to disguise the dirt and spills that young children so often attract. Her father has a full set of whiskers, giving him a manly appearance. His clothing is simple but refined, a frock coat in a light color (signifying it was probably summer when the photo was made), a dark vest over a white shirt, black bow tie and black slacks topping walking boots. An article I recently read about dressing the Victorian man explicitly described that a man’s dress should suit the situation and never be flashy nor shabby. Ah the pressures of the Victorian man’s life!

2 thoughts on “A little girl and her Papa

  1. The little girl looks thin..and the gentlemans beard looks like Abe Lincolns..great old CdV:)


  2. Liutgard says:

    The little girl’s necklace is likely coral beads, which were very popular for little girls then- even toddlers and babies! She is very sweet.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: