[C. 1880s Cabinet Card Photograph of a Woman’s Bedroom Dresser, Possibly taken by a Woman Amateur Photographer].
Cabinet card photograph—possibly by an amateur woman photographer—showing a woman’s bedroom dresser, her personal belongings and mementos carefully arranged in an intimate scene of daily life. The camera that took the photograph is itself reflected in the dresser mirror, pointing directly at the viewer, on its tripod, with its cloth hood.
The woman, likely younger, presents this functional piece of furniture almost in the manner of a shrine. Numerous photographs—including several of one mustached man, possibly her beloved or husband—crowd the scene in which her life and interests are purposely displayed. A doll is seen standing on the left, a carefully preserved souvenir of her youth. Sewing implements hang on the wall and in the foreground there is a banjo and a shotgun, emblems of skill and of leisure and the sporting life. One intimate photograph shows a couple; possibly this woman with her beau.
Hanging on the mirror is a card or handwritten booklet with the words “Louise Gleim’s Schedule for the Week” dated sometime in the 1880s. Since this is almost certainly not a photograph by a commercial photographer, perhaps Ms. Gleim was the amateur photographer. A committee ribbon hanging on the right side of the mirror is decorated with a camera on a tripod, the legs of which appear to be a cipher of three letters, possibly “SPA” or “APS.”
Description: [C. 1880s Cabinet Card Photograph of a Woman’s Bedroom Dresser, Possibly taken by a Woman Amateur Photographer].
[America. c.1880s]. Albumen Photograph on heavy card stock mount with a red beveled edge. Overall 7 x 5 inches; Photo 6½ x 4½ inches. Near fine.