“Generic” CDV Album Card Fillers of the 1860s
In the 1860s, the Carte De Visite (CDV) photograph was all the rage. Portraits had come down in price from the ambrotype days and people all over the United States were having their portraits taken. This gave rise to CDV albums, meant to hold pictures in place.
Since most families had a limited amount of portraits, an industry to provide “art cards”, “views”, “religious themes” and other categories blossomed. This also gave rise to the “album card” movement, which is what the primary focus of my research and collecting is around.
Back to the CDV fillers. These were photographs or lithographs glued to CDV size card stock. I have selected a few to cover in this article, which is by no means to be interpreted as comprehensive in any sense. Just a glimpse into some of the subject you might find interspersed with family photos in a CDV album.
The sepia ones are interesting but I find the colored ones much more interesting. Some were hand tinted photographs but others were chromolithographs that were very well done.
A lot of the CDV album fillers were familial in nature and many showed siblings. This card shows 3 children together studying or just reading to pass the time.
The next two are really interesting in how they show Civil War “dress up” with fine attention to detail in them. Note the details of the horse and toys in one and the portrait above the fireplace in the other.
Another popular area relate to Bible stories. If you’re not familiar with the story of Moses, Jochebed (his Mother) gave birth to him but knew that Hebrew male children would be killed for fear they would rise and form an army. She made him a floating basket and set him in the Nile where the Pharaoh’s daughter was bathing.
The Pharaoh’s daughter took pity on Moses and decided to raise him as her own child. Jochebed’s daughter approached the Pharaoh’s daughter and said there was a nursemaid who could feed the child. It was Jochebed and she was able to spend time with Moses until he was weaned.
The images shows a captivating glance from the baby Moses and shows Jochebed in the tall weeds. What’s particularly interesting to me is that she has an exposed breast, which would have been considered quite risque in the 1860s.
That’s all of the fillers I wanted to share today, need to save some for other stories in the future. If anyone can provide attribution for any of these I would love to hear from you. Happy collecting!