PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN : TRIESTE, ITALY : EARLY CDV FROM THE (1870’s)

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This oval carte de visite  photograph features an attractive young woman. Her hair is styled and she is wearing jewelry. The woman appears to be affluent. The photographer of this cdv is Guglielmo Sebastianutti (1825-1881). He has one portrait in England’s National Portrait Gallery. The portrait above is an early cdv image. It is evident that the photograph is from the early cdv era because the Sebastianutti  died in 1881 and because the years he won photography awards reveal the approximate time this photo was taken. The reverse of the photograph lists a number of awards won by the photographer. He was recognized in Berlin, Germany (1865), Paris, France (1867), Hamburg, Germany (1868), Groningen, Netherlands (1869), and Vienna, Austria (1870), Since Sebastianutti’s photography career ended in 1878, it is clear that this image was taken between 1870 and 1878. Sebastianutti’s studio was located in the city of Trieste, which is a port city located in northeast Italy. During Sebastianutti’s career, he partnered with celebrated German photographer, Franz Benque (1841-1921). Benque moved to Trieste in 1864 and partnered with Sebastianutti in the opening of a photography studio. At the time Sebastianutti was watchmaker. In 1868, Benque married Sebastianutti’s step-daughter, Isabella. Despite the success of his studio, Benque returned to Germany in 1869, and opened a studio with his cousin, Conrad Kindermann, in Hamburg. Benque must have had wanderlust because in 1870, he immigrated with his family to Brazil. There, he partnered with Alberto Henschel (1827-1882) and operated studios in Bahia and Pernambuco. Benque’s studios gained the reputation of being the best in all of Brazil. In 1878, Benque must have had another episode of wanderlust which propelled him back to Trieste and a partnership with Sebastianutti. Benque must have had one more “relocation” left in him. In 1903 he moved to Villach, Austria. This cdv image is in very good condition (see scans).

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TWO ADORABLE CHILDREN IN TRADITIONAL GERMAN COSTUMES IN HAMBURG

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This wonderful Carte de Visite features two adorable children wearing traditional clothing posing for their portrait at the Banque & Kindermann studio in Hamburg, Germany. The boys outfit has an abundance of buttons and he is wearing a top hat. The little girl is holding a basket of pretty flowers and is wearing a hat that resembles a “frying pan”. On each side of the children are potted plants. The image is actually a lovely photograph. The reverse of the photograph has print that advertises the fact that the studio won medals at an 1887 exhibition in Stuttgart, Germany. This photograph was likely taken shortly after that contest. “The Photographic Times” (1897) tells the story of photographer Conrad Kindermann. He was born in Lubeck, Germany in 1842. He apprenticed in a cloth house in Riza, Russia for five years and worked there another year. He then was introduced to working as a photographer by his brother who had a studio in Hamburg. In 1863 he opened a studio in Lubeck. The ceilings in this studio were so low that they prohibited photographing adults when they were standing. The resourceful Kindermann decided to specialize in photographing children. It is very interesting to note that the word “kinder” means “children”. He was truly a Kindermann. In 1869 he met photographer Herr Benque. They becamse fast friends and were soon partners in a studio in Hamburg. The studio encountered financial problems so Benque left and soon the studio became very successful and Kindermann became known as one of the best photographers of children in the country. A review of the era’s photography journals demonstrate that he was often cited or the subject of articles. Another fascinating fact is that Darwin used three of Kindermann’s photographs in his book “The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals” (1872).

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