“THE ENTERTAINER”: A BANJO PLAYER IN WALTON, NEW YORK

BANJO PLAYER_0006A spiffy gentleman wearing striped pants, and with a banjo on his knee, poses at the Sprague studio in Walton, New York. He looks relatively comfortable in his “entertainer pose”. It appears that he actually is a banjo player and not just holding a studio prop. Note his terrific hat.

Published in: on July 8, 2013 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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LADY AND A BANJO

A lady and her banjo are the subject of this cabinet card portrait. She is posed as if she is performing. She sits with the banjo on her knees and curtains draped behind her. Although the photograph is marred by age, it is still a spectacular image because it captures the role music played in home entertainment at the turn of the nineteenth century. The performer and the photographer are unidentified.  SOLD

Published in: on April 4, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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THE SHEPARD FAMILY CONCERT COMPANY

This cabinet card features a portrait of the Shepard Family Concert Company. In this photograph, mother is playing the piano (or organ) and the five children and their father are playing violins. The photographer of this cabinet card is unknown, as is the location of the studio. A photograph of the Shepard family and their instruments appears in The Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont (located in Middlebury, Vermont). In addition, the museum possesses a “cigar ribbon quilt” serving as a piano cover. The quilt is made from silken advertising ribbons which cigar companies used to tie cigars together for packaging purposes. This particular quilt was made by Mary Emily Shepard (“Minnie”), the matriarch of the Shepard Family. The Shepard Family was Massachusetts based, and mostly toured upper New England. The musical group venues included the Town Hall Theatre, in Middlebury, Vermont. Family Musical Troupes were popular in the 1880’s and 1890’s.  Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Shepard  and their children, Kittie, Laura, Lessie, Georgie, and Burtin were regionally well known and appreciated in the late nineteenth century. Each family member were multi instrumentalists. The family could perform as a choral group, a brass band, or a violin ensemble with the mother playing the pump reed organ. In addition, sometimes, the children would perform as a banjo quintet.

SALVATION ARMY BAND IN EUREKA SPRINGS, ARKANSAS

Eureka! This cabinet card is an addition to the rapidly expanding Salvation Army category of the Cabinet Card Gallery. This image is of a three member musical group and three of their musical instruments. The instruments include a portable organ, a guitar and what appears to be, a banjo or another type of string instrument. The band members are in their Salvation Army Uniforms. One gentleman is wearing a badge on the front of his jacket and the second gentleman has a “S” pin on the collar of his jacket. The woman in the band appears to be wearing a badge over the top button of her blouse. The photographer is Spencer McCollister of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

WOMAN WITH A BANJO ON HER KNEE IN BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND

banjoThis Cabinet Card portrait captures a woman posing with a banjo on her knee at a photographers studio in Sparkbrook, England.  Ok, so the banjo is not quite on her knee.  Is this woman a musician or entertainer of note? Unfortunately, there is no identifying information on the reverse of this photograph, so her identity remains a mystery. Sparkbrook is an inner city area of Birmingham, England. The photographer is Woodcock.