A poignant CDV photo of a baby in a white gown, maybe a christening gown, with dark ribbons at each shoulder and around the high waist. It was standard in the Victorian and Edwarian eras to dress children and babies in mourning black when a family member died. Judging from the approximate date of this CDV, a relative of the baby, possibly the father, uncle or older brother, might have died in the Civil War.
The CDV, or Carte de Visite, was developed in 1854 and quickly gained in popularity, taking the limelight away from tintypes and ambrotypes, which were on glass and easily broken. The CDV was an albumen print mounted on paper cards. It was less expensive to produce and longer lasting than its predecessors. CDVs were especially prized by soldiers in the Civil War, who could easily carry the pictures with them throughout the war.
The back of the card has the photography studio's name and address, written in beautiful hand in ink. Seeley's. 292 Main St. Pokeepsie, N.Y. (For those who are not familiar with local habits, Pokeepsie is Poughkeepsie. All of us born and raised in Poughkeepsie felt free to abbreviate the name. It was done all the time back then. I don't think people still do it.) The writing on the back of the card is not stamped or printed, but done by hand. This denotes an earlier example of the CDV. 3 3/4" X 2 1/2"
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