CDV: Circassian Woman

Circassian Woman, late 1860s-80s

"Circassian Beauty", late 1860s-80s

Chas. Eisenmann, Photographer, 229 Bowery, New York

Chas. Eisenmann, Photographer, 229 Bowery, New York

Backmark: “Chas. Eisenmann, Photographer, 229 Bowery, New York. Photographs taken instantaneously. This Picture is printed by Electric Light.”

Date: Late 1860s-80s

Subject: Young woman in a parlor setting

Location: New York, NY

As I am commenting only on dress in this blog, you may read more about Circassian Beauties elsewhere.

This woman wears a dress of velvet reaching just below the knee. Women wore this length skirt only for athletics or on the stage, so we can safely assume this woman worked at the latter. The long sleeves with open cuff (known now as “modified pagoda”) are trimmed with lace, matching the hem of her basque bodice and skirt. The lace and the hem of her drawers is tinted pink in the original CDV.

She wears light-colored stockings and ankle boots with the short heels popular from the 1870s on.

Questions: I am uncertain about the date of this image. That her sleeve and skirt shape seem particularly 1870s and the image is a CDV, not a cabinet card, which suggests an earlier date, but the backmark reads ” This Picture is printed by Electric Light”. Do any of you have any ideas about this?

I am not as well-versed about this period as about others, so I invite you to comment below with additional description and fun facts.

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One Response to “CDV: Circassian Woman”

  1. Have you seen the Becker collection of Charles Eisenmann photographs at Syracuse University?

    http://libwww.syr.edu/information/spcollections/digital/eisenmann/

    It is introduced by a brief survey of Eisenmann’s life and career. It looks like he was active in New York from the mid 1870s to 1899.

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