I’ve been neglecting you…

I had no idea it had been two months since my last post, and I really apologize! I think I have too many hobbies because I have been neglecting my other sites also, and that just isn’t acceptable. But, don’t you fret and don’t you frown, I have a ton of surprises in store for you!! I have just recently been trawling the “Worlds Longest Flea Market” in Tennessee and while most people were buying rustic windows and dishes, I was digging through the boxes of photos. No surprise there! I came away with nearly 100 new items to look at. It’s a matter now of scanning, but I hope to get that done here pretty soon. We are going to be doing some construction on our house in the next several months, so in advance I’m letting you know of my potential lapses, lol.

Just take a look at all these goodies!

Why yes, there are nearly 50 Christmas cards there!

A fine array of images to dig into!

So, I hope to get the site updated more often for your reading enjoyment, plus I do intend to continue my Christmas tradition of posting a Christmas Card a day during the holiday season. This year I have nearly 50 cards, so I expect we will begin in late November and continue through the New Year. That is going to be fun! One set of cards represents one family over more than 10 years. It will be an interesting progression, indeed!Until next week, dear friends, when the progression of fabulous vintage photographs begins anew…


Where did she go?

Where did she go??

Where did she go??

Today we have a sad story. This beautiful CDV sized card surrounds a gem tintype that has been worn over the years until the facial features have been completely obliterated. I can tell this was a woman. There is the typical center part to her hair and it was oiled down smoothly to her head. I can also see a white collar and large neckerchief bow. These two fashion aspects put the date in the early 1860s, and this could even have been a reprint of an older daguerrotype. Other than those two visible clues, she is well and truly lost.

This little disaster tells us two things. One is that old photographs are very delicate. Tintypes were printed onto metal plates with an emulsion and varnish covering them. They are highly susceptible to scratching and wear. Photographs printed on paper and mounted on a card are equally fragile and can be ripped, scratched, written on, burned, and also fade with exposure to sunlight. These antique images can be damaged irreparably and when they were the only photo of the person made, it is a shame to have lost the record of their appearance. We take this so much for granted today. I can’t imagine someone passing from this life without a photographic record of them being left behind. We have ID photos for driving, working, education, etc., plus in much of the world, cameras are not such a luxury any more, and many people have one in their pocket at all times on modern smart phones. The second thing this destroyed image tells us is a story of perhaps someone rubbing away the image with a finger, over time, whether the tintype was a touchstone to the past, or they were trying to remove the memory of something painful, we can never know.

The paper folder that the gem has been mounted in is interesting. It is light blue in color with gold printing that features a ship and nautical stars under a rising sun, stars in the corners, two vases on pediments, holding star shaped flowers, and ivy with star shaped leaves at the top corners. The entire border is a type of Greek key design. There was no photographer’s information on the back. There is surely some analogy and metaphor in the images featured on the card, but I do not know what they were meant to represent.

I am submitting this as a Sepia Saturday post! Please click through and discover a world of amazing sepia images from around the world!

Onward through the blogosphere

Lady with a book

Lady with book W

Shall I read you a story?

Lady with book back

London Stereographic & Photographic Company

This is a really lovely 1860s image, showing a lady with a very full skirt and the drop-shouldered bodice so popular during that decade. She is seated, holding a book in her left hand and nothing in the right – although it looks like she is pointing. I think she was just holding her hand funny. She has bracelets on each wrist and a long necklace that appears to match them. She also has some type of chain necklace with something – perhaps a clock – hanging about mid bodice.

Also of note are the lovely pleats at her waistline, and also the pointed yoke of the skirt. I haven’t seen anything like that in my travels through antique photographs. The pleats are lovely as they are doubled on top of each other with wide spacing in between the sets. This spacing likely gave her skirt a nice smooth appearance. Her bodice appears to have been gathered onto the skirt yoke and has large rosettes on it. It is rather unusual.

Finally, you will see that she is wearing a beaded hair net on the very back of her head. Her hair is styled in the typical fashion, glossy from oil or pomade, and then covered once styled.

The photograph was made by the London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company in Cheapside, England.

Spanish Dagger


This CdV can be comfortably dated to the mid to late 1860s based on the square corners and border lines. Written on the back is “Spanish Dagger From San Antonio Texas.” The Spanish dagger plant is also known as the yucca gloriosa which is native to the American coastal southeast, growing in sand dunes. San Antonio is about 150 miles from Corpus Christi on the Texas Gulf Coast. According to the USDA, the yucca gloriosa is not known to grow in Texas.  Hrm. I found other images online that are similar to this Spanish Dagger in bloom to confirm what the original owner of the photo wrote.

Not a photo but historical

Folks I apologize for the brief detour from the photos but this is an historic moment in our country and for the world. Our President has announced that Osama Bin Laden is dead and his evil is gone from the world. Thank you to our awesome military for every sacrifice to make the world safer. I know I should not rejoice in death but my eyes are filled with tears of joy for his death and tears of gratitude for all those who made this happen.

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