Cartes de visite (CDV)
The French, Cartes de visite (CDV), English translation; “business card”, was introduced to England approximately 1854. Due to its size (2.5″ x 3.5″) CDV’s were commonly called the visiting card or pocket card. It gained wide popularity around 1859 as a trading card and during the Civil War because it could be easily be put in a mailing envelope. The thin photograph was mounted on a piece of card stock.
Due to their size, 4.5 x 6.5, Cabinet cards were typically displayed on a cabinet and large enough to be viewed from across the room. They were introduced in the 1860s but didn’t gain popularity until the 1870s. Like the CDVs Cabinet cards are photographs mounted on stiff pieces of cardboard.
1866-1880 – Square, white or cream colored lightweight mounts with red or gold borders in a single or double line. The photographers name and address printed small below the image, and/or the studios name printed in small letters on the back.
1880-1890 – Cream and dark colors on square, heavy card stock. Beveled edges were common and the matte-finish front and glossy back of the mounts were often different colors. The photographers name and address was written in large ornate cursive text. The studios name was often written large enough to take up the entire back of the card. Black card stock with gold text was popular.
1890s: – Heavy card stock with scalloped edges. Embossed single line borders with gold lettering were common.
I buy most of the displayed cards from eBay. Do you have any information or can you identify any of them?