DATING CARD MOUNTED PHOTOGRAPHS
©2014

jrowe@vintagephoto.com - HOME  - Comments

Card mounted photographs from the 19th and early 20th century, such as cartes-de-visites, cabinet cards and stereographs can be generally dated by their format and mount type. Printed mount notations such as photographer's identification and title are fairly reliable, but can still provide false information.

Dating by mount type and style provides a rough indicator for identifying images. The caveat is that many photographers, particularly in more remote areas, failed to keep up to photographic fashion and used old mounts until their stocks were exhausted. Also, photographers reprinted historically or commercially important images long after they were originally taken. Also negatives were often sold or copied and the mount information may not accurately reflect the history of the images. For example, D. P. Flanders views of Prescott taken in the Spring of 1874 appear on Williscraft mounts in the late 1870s and Continent mounts into the mid 1880s

Notations on the mounts can occasionally provide additional information about the image, but should always be verified by other sources before being relied on. Handwritten notations are the most suspect, often being added long after the image was made by persons with only secondary knowledge.

The following information is provided to assist in verifying possible image dates using information based on the type and style of the photographic mount.


GUIDE for DATING CARD MOUNTED PHOTOGRAPHS

Stereographs  Cartes de Visites   Cabinet Cards   Photographic Postcards

Card mounted photo designation by size (all sizes in inches)

Aureole Card 3 inch circular opening
in 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 card
ca 1905-06*
Bijou Card 7 x 4 5/8 ca 1890*
Bijou Panel 2 3/8 X 4 5/8 ca 1890s
Boudoir Card 5 1/2 X 8 1/2 1880s
Cabinet Card 6 1/2 X 4 1866 - 1900s
Cabinet Gem 5 1/4 x 3 1/2 ca 1890*
Cabinet Card in Miniature 1 7/8 X 1 1/4 1890 - 1900s
Carré 3 x 3 ca 1894*
Cartes-de-visite 2 1/2 X 4 1850s - 1900s
Cigarette Card 1 3/4 X 2 1885-95, 1909-17
Corona 4 x 8 1/2 ca 1894*
Imperial mount 7 X 10 1890s
Kodak circular images 4 1/4 X 5 1/4 1880s - 1890s
Little Queen (white unenameled) 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 ca 1890*
Longa 2 7/8 x 6 1/2 ca 1894*
Milieu 1 3/4 x 4 3/16 ca 1894*
Minette 1 1/2 x 2 3/8 or 2 x 3 1/8 ca 1894*
Mintha (Paris Panel) 5 1/2 x 7 3/4 ca 1905-06*
Newport Panel 2 1/8 X 6 1890s
Panel Card 13 X 7 1/2 1890s
Paris Card 9 3/4 X 6 3/4 1890s
Petite 1 5/8 x 3 1/8 or 3 1/4 ca 1894*
Promenade Card 7 1/2 X 4 1890s
Quadra 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 ca 1894*
Sans-Pareil 3 1/16 x 2 1/16 ca 1890*
Stereograph 3 1/2 X 7 to 5 X 7  1850s - 1950s
Stamp Photos 3/4 X 1  1880s - 1900s
Swiss Mount 6 1/2 X 2 4/5  1890s
Unique Portrait 2 5/8 X 2  Pat. Oct 15, 1889
Victoria 3 1/4 x 5 ca 1894*
Zarno Card Unspecified size for 4 X 5 prints ca 1905-06*
Zelica Card 6 1/4 x 8 1/4 ca 1905-06*

* Courtesy of Gary Saretsky


Stereograph dating (3 1/2 X 7)

Photographic images

 

 

Flat mount (3 1/2 X 7)

 

 

 

Square corner 

1857 - 70

 

White, cream or gray 

1857 - 63

 

Shades of Yellow 

1861 - 70

 

Red, green, blue, or lavender 

1866 - 70

 

Rounded corner -Standard size

1868 - 90

Larger, Cabinet sizes (5 X 7) 

 

 

 

Square corner 

1870 - 75

 

Rounded Corner

1873 - 90

Curved mount

 

 

 

Buff 

1879 - 1910

 

Gray 

1892 - 1950 

 

Black 

1902 - 60

Printed images - 

 

 

 

Ivory mount square corner printed

1857-60

 

B & W or colored halftone 

1898 - 1930


Cartes-de-visites (2 1/2 X 4)

Revenue stamps were used on card mounted photographs produced between

September 1, 1864 and August 1, 1866, most frequently on cartes-de-visites

Thin stock (.4 mm) with square corners 

 

1860 - 1870

.5mm stock with square or rounded corners

 

1870 - 1875

.6mm stock with square or rounded corners 

 

1873 - 1884

.7mm stock with square or rounded corners 

 

1879 - 1890s

1-1.3mm stock with square corners   ca 1900 - 1910*

* Courtesy of Gary Saretsky


Cabinet cards (6 1/2 X 4 1/2)

Variety of colors from 

1860s to ca 1910

Maroon or dark green 

ca 1880.

Gold border 

pre 1885.

Scalloped edges

after mid 1880s.

Impressed border and lettering 

after ca 1890.


Photographic Postcards - Stamp Box identification (based on Southwestern U.S. Images)
Additional information at http://www.playle.com/realphoto/

 ARGO (Defender Photo Supply Company)

1905

 ARISTO - with eagle logo

up to 1907

ARTURA  - in fleur-de-lis

1906

 AZO (Kodak) with corner diamonds

1907

AZO (Kodak) with corner triangle pointing up

1904

AZO (Kodak) with corner triangle pointing up and down

1918

AZO (Kodak) with corner squares

1923

CYKO - in solid script - (ANSCO)

1905

CYKO - in open script - (ANSCO)

1904

DEFENDER

1910

DEFENDER with diamond inner box

1920

KRUXO with corner cloverleaf

1907

NOKO

1907

PMO

1907

SOLIO 

1903

VELOX (Kodak)

1900

VELOX (Kodak) with corner triangle

1906

VELOX (Kodak) with corner diamonds

1907

VELOX (Kodak) with corner square

1900

jrowe@vintagephoto.com - HOME  - Comments