Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

I believe this to be an 1860s era CdV, due to the square corners, general sparsity of props and absence of a back mark. What I have read is that in the earlier part of the decade, little to no props were used, but by the end of the decade, chairs, tables and other assorted props had become popular. I find the curtain to the right of this gentleman quite strange. What could it possibly be covering that couldn’t have been moved out of the way? Also of note is the dark shadow behind his feet, which I believe to be the base of a positioning stand. Holding onto the chair and with a positioning stand behind, it was far easier to stand still for the long exposure time during early photography.

4 thoughts on “Man and Chair

  1. usermattw says:

    Great photo! Yes, I agree that’s probably the base of a stand or clamp behind him. I’m not much of an expert on dating old photos, but I’d agree with your estimate here. I’ve also noticed the lack of scenery in the 1850s-60s, just a piece of furniture or two. There’s also that floor covering, which to my eyes resembles 1970s kitchen linoleum. I’ve seen similar floors in photos from that era. As for that curtain to the right, I wonder if it might be a poorly executed attempt at artistic drapery. Or, as you say, an effort to hide something disguised as artistic drapery. Also, while I know even less about vintage clothing styles, I can’t help but think that his clothes look like they belong on a taller person. :-)


  2. tyrogers6200 says:

    The curtain thing to the right is a hoot. The photographer obviously needed some style and practice at his craft.


  3. Just at his elbow is a tiny corner of some tall furniture, perhaps a typical studio architectural column that the photographer decided at the last moment to hide. The gentleman looks like a young professional. Perhaps a lawyer just after passing the bar?


  4. interesting photo..I agree 1860’s..his hair is quite long..and that drape is covering up something..


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