[Victorian Calling Card for Mrs. John Mowle with Inset Miniature Tintype or “Gem” Portrait].
Unusual, mounted “gem” tintype set into a calling card
Miniature tintype photographs, also called “gem” photos for their diminutive size, were a popular and inexpensive photographic format in the Victorian era. Here a portrait of youthful Mrs. John Mowle is conjoined with another Victorian custom of calling cards. Mrs. Mowle is wearing a black dress with a white collar and dark jewelry, possibly in mourning for a young child. Under magnification, the uneven edges and lacy look of her earrings and choker suggest that they are examples of hair jewelry. This calling card is clever and personal gift of friendship from a young woman and an unusual exemplar of photographically illustrated ephemera.
Description: [Victorian Calling Card for Mrs. John Mowle with Inset Miniature Tintype or “Gem” Portrait].
Np, c.1860s–1870s. Miniature or “Gem” Tintype mounted in verso of a Calling Card. Image: Approx. 1 x ¾ inches; card: approx. 2½ x 3¾ inches. Gilt paper “frame” surrounding image. Recto of card imprinted with the name “Mrs. John Mowle.” Very good.