Family History Federation

Fashion a la Carte, 1860-1900 (Avril Lansdell)

Second Hand Book. A Shire Library Publication.

A camera that could take several photographs at one sitting was invented in France in the 1850s. As a means of producing a good, cheap likeness it surpassed anything that had gone before. The finished pictures were mounted on small cards of 2 1/2 by 4 inches: this was the size of visiting cards and the photographs came to be known as ‘cartes-de-visite’. Slow at first to be appreciated, once Queen Victoria and her family had been photographed in 1860 — and the prints published as cartes — they became almost an obsession with the British public. For the first time even a labourer could have portraits of his family at a price that enabled him to send copies to other relatives. Thousands of these little photographs were taken between 1860 and 1900, portraits of the famous were published as cartes by commercial firms and the Victorians collected them avidly. Today these collections, which range from portraits of the richest in the land to the poorest, present a picture of our forebears in their own time and place, as they saw themselves and each other. This book brings together the nearly two hundred cartes-de-viste; in them we have a record of how the Victorians’ clothes changes over a period of forty years. The studio backgrounds to the portraits and the style of presentation changed over the same period; this book, therefore, contains a record of photographers’ studios as well as fashions. Photography, British


1 in stock

SKU : SB66

Skip to content