This photo has caused quite a lot of consternation for me. At first blush I took this to be an 1860s photo based on the square corners and size of the image (quarter sized in the center of the mount). The card borders are also consistent with those in use mid-1860s. BUT! The hair style, earrings and bodice are late 1870s to 1880s! I had some historical clothing experts take a look at the photo and all agree that the clothing is in the later date range. So the question becomes, why the “antique” style card mount and image mask? Was this lady “going retro” before the word was even invented?
The photographer was Wm. Mabie of Wellsville, NY. I wasn’t able to find any information on him.