This is an unusual cartes de visite portrait because of the method utilized to hold the posing child in an optimal and safe position to be photographed. It was not unusual to restrain a young child during a photograph session but usually the restraints are hidden. The safety belt was usually hidden under clothing, a blanket or some other material. In addition, sometimes a child’s parent might hold the baby in place while being covered by a blanket or some other material. In addition, to showing the safety belt, this image is a wonderful portrait of a little girl. The photographer of this cdv is Amory Nelson Hardy (1835-1911). He was born in Cumberland, Maine. He was married to Angeline Davis (1833-1920). Early in his photography career he worked in Bucksport, Maine. He then moved to Boston and during his work there had a studio on Washington Street (1868, 1879-1887) and Winter Street (1873-1878). These dates are only a partial representation of his career. This photograph was taken at the Winter Street studio. It has been brought to my attention that it is very possible that this little girl may not be tied into her seat at all. Instead, both the black bows around her sleeves as well as the wide black band around her abdomen may be symbols of “mourning”. I certainly agree that the ribbons around her sleeves are typical mourning symbols. However, I have not seen similar mourning bands employed around a subject’s waist or abdomen. I wonder what visitors to the cabinet card gallery think about these black bands. Please feel free to leave a comment. To view other photographs by Mr. Hardy, click on the category “Photographer: Hardy”.

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  1. HI, charming image. I am pretty sure that the dark band is part of the girl’s dress. The fashion dates probably from the 1890s.Ron

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