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Dating 19th Century Card Mounted Portraits

This section is possible, in large part, due to the work of William C. Darrah, and his self-published book "Cartes de Visite: In 19th Century Photography." In that publication, Mr. Darrah described a number of features, and noted their correlation to the age of the photograph. He emphasized that these are not fixed rules, but generalized guidelines, with many exceptions. Nor do we know how well his criteria apply to cards made outside the US.

CARD:
Card thickness
Card corners
Card color
Notched or Beveled edges
Lines, frames and geometric designs
STAMP:
Tax stamp
PHOTOGRAPHER'S IMPRINT:
Plain typeset imprint
Imprint with simple logo
Imprint with ornate designs
PORTRAIT STYLE:
Vignetted head
Seated figure
Standing, full or 3/4 length
Groups
BACKGROUND:
Background drape and/or column
Background with other objects (steps, balustrade, etc.)
Painted background scene
With accessories or props
CLOTHING STYLES:
Clothing styles








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