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Odd Shaped Cabinet Card

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Cabinet Card Photographs74 of 296Wild West Side Show Native American Signed CDVsCabinet card of Man with Family and his Banjo
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Posted 1 year ago

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antiquesar…
(136 items)

This is the standard width of a cabinet card, however it's SUPER tall. The only reason I bought it is because I've never seen such an awkward shaped photo.
Is this shape/size common?

Any input is welcome and appreciated!

Also... on the back is written: "Uncle John Brehler died in 1895"
*was able to find him in the Michigan Death Index. Died Apr 12 1895 at the age of 29, single and no children. Mount Clemens, MI.

Comments

  1. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
    It is not that common. Most cabinet cards are 4 1/4 X 6 1/2 or very close to that size.

    It is probably a failed case of a photographer wanting to stand out from his competition. In your example-- the photograph adds nothing but extra "sky" above the subjects head. Additionally, this extra long size wouldn't fit in any of the standard albums of the era.

    scott
  2. antiquesareamazing antiquesareamazing, 1 year ago
    Thanks, Scott! Super helpful.
  3. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
    Glad to help.

    The style is more suited to a large group photographs. The corresponding camera MAY have been sold for that purpose-- rob may be able to shed some light on that possibility.

    scott
  4. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago
    Hi all ... I too have a portrait in this odd format size. Mine is a dated 1882 image made by the famous Brooklyn photographer Frank Pearsall - I'll post it later. Scott is right, it's a rather unusual size yet the image in my collection takes advantage of this taller format by filling it with a full standing portrait (not just a head & shoulders vanity shot). However there is still some “sky” as Scott points out.

    The oval shape around the portrait was made by a vignette mask ... this can be done in camera or while printing. Although there is a lot of "sky", it gives some leeway if the portrait is framed.

    As far as studio equipment, it was probably shot with an 8x10 multiplying camera (single lens / shifting back style) set up to economically make two vertical images on a single plate - which would account for the odd size. The shifting back allows a photographer to separately exposure different parts of a plate. It was a very cost effective practice.

    Otherwise, it is possible the portrait was shot on a smaller 5x8 view camera, but most studios of the era typically had 8x10 and up. And yes, 5x8 (even trimmed a little) is a terrific format for groups.
  5. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
    Good point with the full standing views rob. I have several images that are 3/4 or full standing where this odd size was used.

    scott

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