Friday, June 17, 2011

Cabinet Photo Circa 1880s-1890s of an Indian Warrior

This looks like a person I would not want to tangle with out on the high plains in the late 19th century.   Even though this is a studio portrait, the fierceness and a complete ability to handle himself on horseback comes through.  Personally, I think this is a magnificent picture.

There is information below the image.  "Loves Horses" and some other words I can't decipher are handwritten.  The photographer information is printed below.  This particular photographer "A. Bogardus" had offices in New York City - we've sold photos by him before, but nothing like this.   Actually it looks like the photographers were Sherman & McHugh, successors to Bogardus.  Bogardus was a lot better known, I think.

We have several American Indian photos up for auction currently, and what we've found while researching is that frequently these photographers (or their agents, or perhaps free lancers) would head west, stay there sometimes for years,  take tons of pictures, bring them back east and sell them. So that's why you see these posed pictures for photographers working out of of New York City, Chicago, or West Superior, Wisconsin.

Although we don't claim to be experts, this looks to be an authentic period photograph.  By authentic I mean it's not a photograph of a photograph.  It's not a new reprint.  The mounting looks right, although it appears someone has trimmed to top at some point in the past (a very common occurrence).  If perchance it is a reprint, I'm pretty sure it's a 19th century reprint.

This is a "Cabinet Photo".  Cabinets were popular in the late 19th century, from about the 1870s on.  Typically it consists of an albumen print affixed to a 4 x 6 inch (give or take) cardboard backing.  The photo t is usually a bit smaller than the cardboard, of course.  Frequently the age of a photo can be estimated by the graphics on the cardboard - as time went along and printing techniques changed and improved, graphics, especially on back, got much more elaborate.  On the earlier cards the printing was much plainer.

This is a bit smaller than the standard Cabinet Photo - the whole thing measures 3.5 x 5 inches, or just a shade smaller than a standard sized postcard. The top has definitely been trimmed & it's possible the sides have too. 

I always worry about authenticity with items like this, but I see nothing about it that would cause me to think it was anything other than a 19th century photograph.  I like this one quite a bit.

Update:  This one sold!

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