This Cabinet Card appears to be a wedding portrait. The bride looks beautiful in her bow plagued gown. Her feathered hat is terrific. The groom seems to be a bit older than the bride. Perhaps he lied on about his age. Hopefully someone knowledgable about wedding gowns of this period can opine about whether this is a wedding portrait. The photographer is H. Seymour Squyer of Auburn, New York. Could the signature on the bottom of the cabinet card be less legible? Research relied on his address to identify him. In 1893, Squyer won an Eastman Prize that was listed in the American Journal of Photography. In 1900, he was cited as a leading expert in legal photography by the Archives of Neurology and Psychopathology. He was the legal photographer for the New York Prison System and involved in innovative work to improve the value of photography for identification of prisoners. Squyer’s photograph of Harriet Tubman is in the Smithsonian Art Portraiture Gallery.


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Like you, my first impression was that it was a wedding portrait. However, there are no telltale accessories- no wax orange buds, not even a prominently displayed ring. Hard to say.

  2. My grandparents’ wedding photo did not look like a wedding portrait, though family tradition states that it is. My grandmother is dressed in a very fine dress, my grandfather in a sharp suit, but there is nothing overtly ‘wedding’ about it. It was my grandmother’s second marriage; that may have had something to do with it.

    I know that, at the beginning of the 19th cent, there was no real standard around white wedding gowns, etc., even amongst the aristocracy. Me, I’d blame hollywood and/or cheesy novels for the expectation that all weddings must be white. (We wore black at my sister’s wedding, and she was happily married for over 25 years until her death – and black dresses don’t show where you spilled your drink all over them!)

    The relatively intimate pose and the explosion of bows on the bride tells me it probably is a wedding photo. Some old geezer could finally afford to provide a nice home for some sweet young thing… very common back then.

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