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Unmounted carte de visite portrait photographs.

Great Britain, 1860s-early 1870s.
Physical Description:
115 photographs : albumen prints ; each approximately 9.3 x 6 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
TR680.A53 U4+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Collection of 115 of trimmed but apparently never mounted portrait photographs intended as cartes de visite. The collection includes a variety of recurring backdrops. The relative consistency of the images suggests that most (or all) may come from a single British portrait studio. The studio backdrops and props include: a drawing room with a long curtained window and ornate fireplace; idyllic rural landscapes; a lake with yachts. Props include notebooks, dolls, rocking horses, rifles, a stereoscope, a graphoscope, and a game of chess. Sitters appear to come from a range of economic classes and trades. The portraits include numerous children and men in soldier's uniform.
There is no indication of the photographer's or sitters' identities. A carte de visite photograph of Frances Harriet Catherine Rouse-Boughton in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery (NPG x1555) depicts the same faux fireplace backdrop shown in some of the images in the present collection. The Rouse-Boughton portrait is by the London studio McLean, Melhuish & Haes, dated 1861-1863. The NPG portrait, however, lacks the carpet and wall molding shown in the present set. In one photograph, the photographer has stepped back and allowed a behind-the-scenes view to enter the frame, revealing what looks like the actual studio window, the raised floor and an onlooker waiting in the wings.
Subject Terms:
Carte de visite photographs -- Great Britain.
Photography -- Great Britain.
Albumen prints.
Cartes-de-visite (card photographs)
McLean, Melhuish & Haes.

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