This cabinet card requires some interpretation. A young woman is posed standing next to a cross. Her hand is touching the cross. She appears to be dressed in an outfit from another era, or perhaps she is wearing her night clothes. Where is the cross supposed to be located? Is it a gravestone in a cemetery? Is it a symbol outside a church? Another possibility is that the woman is an actress and the image shown originates from her role in a play. The photographic studio that produced this image,  is W. G. and A. J. Thuss, of Nashville, Tennessee. William Gustave Thuss (1854-1943) came to Nashville by 1875 and created several partnerships. He was partners with Charles Parel (1878), Emil Koellein (1880), and Thus, Koellein and Gierss 1883-1889). In 1889, William joined his brother Andrew Joseph Thuss (1866-1950) in starting their own studio. The pair prospered and photographed many of the dignitaries who lived in, or visited, Nashville. Work from the studio won many awards, and a studio was established in 1897 at the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. In 1917, the brothers split up. Each one operated what they called the “original” Thuss studio. The brothers relationship remained damaged for many years, illustrated by the report that when William Gustav Thuss  was on his death bed, his brother never visited him.   (SOLD)



This cabinet card portrait features what appears to be three siblings. The older two sibs are obviously young woman and the youngest is likely a girl because she is wearing a necklace.. Their identities are unknown as is the photographer and the location of the studio. The threesome are well dressed and displaying serious expressions. The two oldest girls are wearing crosses. Note the long hair worn draped over the shoulder of the sister in the far right of the photograph. This cabinet card has been trimmed to fit into a frame. It is in good condition (see scans).


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Published in: on February 19, 2021 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This carte de visite is a photograph of a pretty young woman wearing a large chain and cross. She was photographed at the studio of C. W. Tallman (1833-1896), in Batavia, New York. The town is located in Genesee County and is in the West Central part of the state. Charles W. Tallman operated a gallery in Batavia between the 1870’s and 1905. He began his photography business in Lockport, New York (1866-1877). A number of his early photos were railroad related. Tallman was the first photographer in Batavia,  Some of Tallman’s photographs can be found in the George Eastman Museum and the New York Public Library collections. Tallman was an amateur astronomer and wrote about the subject. This cdv photograph is in very good condition (see scans).                                                       

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two kids and hay_0002The two young girls in this cabinet card portrait are probably sisters. They are posing with a bale of hay in front of a fake brick house. Both girls are wearing necklaces and the older girl is displaying some religiosity by wearing a cross. The photographer and the location of the photographer’s studio are unknown.

Published in: on February 15, 2013 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card is a postmortem photograph of a young girl. The image is upsetting and sad, but served as a remembrance of a family member for their grief stricken family. Note the flowers and cross lying on the child’s bed and the religious statues and candles on the side table.   The photographer of this cabinet card was R. Dechavannes, whose studio was located in Paris, France. To view other photographs by Dechavannes, click on the category “Photographer: Dechavannes”. Hopefully, visitors to the cabinet card gallery will not find this image offensive. A website  called “Ostrobogulous Cackleberries”, has an interesting article about the practice of postmortem photography. The writer states that during the Victorian era, photographing the recently deceased was “extremely prevalent”. The author points out that the practice existed before the invention of the camera. Instead of photographing the dead, artists painted their portraits immediately following their death. In many cases, the postmortem photo was the only image a family possessed of the departed family member. Many of the Victorian memorial photographs were of infants and children. The mortality rate of children during that time was very high. The writer offers a description of how the dead were posed and there seems to be a great deal of approaches to the practice. Postmortem images could be full body or facial close-ups. Coffins were not frequently included in the picture. The dead were often posed as if they were sleeping and sometimes were presented as life-like. In some photos they were braced or tied into chairs or propped up against other family members to look as alive as possible. According to the article, the popularity of postmortem photography faded in the early twentieth century. Funerals moved from the home parlor tot the funeral parlor. Society stopped “embracing mortality” and we became the death denying culture of today.