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Cabinet card of floral still life c. 1890

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Cabinet Card Photographs375 of 406Cabinet card of Inventor and his Corn PopperPhoto of John Wallace Burnett Sr.
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    Posted 8 years ago

    (874 items)

    This is an unusal subject for a Victorian era cabinet card.

    The photographer from Chicago has captured a cut glass vase and basket each containing a floral arrangement.

    I am not sure if this photograph was commissioned by the florist or as a remembrance for someone.

    Reproduction of this image in any form is not authorized.



    1. solver solver, 8 years ago
      Scott, I really do enjoy seeing your profound photographs and this is so unusual. My impression is that this is a memorial photograph. If it were commissioned by a florist, I would expect the arrangements to be more splendid but I could be very wrong.

      I'm sure you already researched the photographer, but if not:

      From the 1958 Chicago Historical Society's Print Department "Chicago Photographers 1847 Through 1900:"

      E. Frank Lummis
      1892-1896: 6160 S. Halsted
      1897: 6158 S. Halsted
      1898: 6160 S. Halsted
      1899: 10188 Winston (Edward)
      1900: 1266 75th St.

      From "Langdon's List of 19th & Early 20th Century Photographers:"

      Lummis, E. Frank, photographer, 6160 S Halsted, Chicago, IL (1892); 1266. 75th, Chicago, IL (1900)

      Considering the info above that helps pinpoint the date, the following from the site "Art of Mourning, Memorial Photography" discusses this time period and the transition from post-mortem to memorial photography:

      "By the 1890s, post-mortem photography (as well as the mourning industry in general) was on the decline. Symbolism, such as the coffin, had replaced the body as the symbol of death and societies were distancing themselves from the image of death. Mortality rates were changing and the fact of death was evolving. Now, photographs were more inclined to show funeral arrangements or even the funeral itself."

      It's hard to determine the types of flowers and greenery and I don't know the names if I could see them. I think I see a lily and roses in the left arrangement and roses in the right. If it is a memorial photograph, the same site explains the symbolism of flowers and plants:

      Thanks for always sharing your incredible collection.
    2. scottvez scottvez, 8 years ago
      Thanks solver-- I too would lean more toward remembrance due to the lack of any visible advertising that relates to a florist.

      I appreciate the informative links.

    3. vetraio50 vetraio50, 8 years ago
      Nice photo and another great comment from solver! Thank you both!

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