Cartes-de-visite (CDVs)

CDVs in the United States date from about 1858 into the 1880s. Typically they measure about 2-1/2 x 4 inches. They often can be dated fairly precisely based on thickness of card stock, image size, type of backmarks, clothing styles, and other features. General rules: The thinner the card stock, the older the CDV. The smaller and simpler the image, the older the CDV. The more ornate the photo image borders and/or the backmark, the later the CDV. Tax revenue stamps on the back indicate a date from August 1864 into 1866, the final years of the Civil War. Clothing and hair styles also help to date CDVs. For example, see Juanita Leisch, Who Wore What? Women's Wear 1861-1865 (Gettysburg, PA: Thomas Publications, 1995).

The photos on this page are for display only and are not generally for sale; however, if you are interested in purchasing one of the photos, serious offers will be considered.

Queries may be directed to Richard Hall.

1. Woman, side view, New Haven, CT; 2. Braided hair, neckerchief, Forestville, NY; 3. Man, oval image, Westfield, MA.

4. Sherlockish man, Montpelier, VT; 5. Woman, crossed hands, Genoa, NY; 6. Large-nose man, Middletown, NY.

7. Tall man standing; 8. Widow woman, Philadelphia, PA; 9. Moustache man, Homer, NY.

10. Full-beard man, Buffalo, NY; 11. Woman with medallion necklace, Rochester, NY; 12. Long-beard man.


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