The Museum: recent acquisitions

Edwardian or Victorian cabinet card portraits

A trip to rural Pennsylvania Sunday through Tuesday, for the 150th Commemmoration of the Battle of Gettysburg. I worked on the visual portion for the opening ceremony, which was reason enough for my Dad to plan a road trip; Tara Lynne and I joined the expedition. I’d never been, and it was wonderful to soak up history amidst its terroir, as is always the case. Also satisfying to see the work I’d done on three large screens in the dusk.

Naturally, since PA is riddled —lousy— with antique shops, centers, barns, auctions, &c., I required a little time to browse the physical detritus of history in addition to absorbing it in the abstract, so some new acquisitions. First , the photographs. I found some excellent Edwardian / Victorian portraits with shockingly low (that is to say, reasonable) prices. To wit (beginning with above images)—

The two up top of this post are my favorites. On the left is what I can only be certain is a woman “passing” for a gentleman (click image to see larger). Look at that face— this “chap” is undoubtedly someon’s great, great ‘spinster’ aunt, no? Brilliant. And on the right: I cannot decide whether this boy is pretty, or alien— but he does call to mind the young Bud Cort so, likely, both. Either way, a fantastic piece of portraiture; such a precocious face.

Edwardian or Victorian cabinet card portraits

Here we have a child of Satan, paired with a child of the Lord. Girl on the left is gonna put the hurt on someone. (She’s hovering.) Possibly her counterpart.

Edwardian or Victorian cabinet card portraits

And finally, these two are just great images of some interesting looking characters. (Not only is Fred a loving brother, he also definitely knows where his mustache wax is at all times.) There were a few others, but these are the highlights.

And a couple of books. At the bottom of the post are 2 images of one of the books, which I nearly missed, A Pictorial History of the World’s Great Nations (Vol. IV). It’s a brilliant example of Victorian cover design; a debossed and leafed cloth-covered hardbound. It’s approximately modern day letter-size, and is filled with engravings. I’ve not looked through the whole thing yet, but below is the one that clinched the deal (as if the cover weren’t enough): QE 1 about to sign Mary of Scots’ death warrant. A second book procured is a fairly tight copy of Middlemarch, by Eliot (nothing special, visually); both books are happily free of acid, and in very good  condition.

Last few things found were 4 player piano sheet music rolls; earliest forms of punch-cards. They, too, seem to be free of acid, and the boxes are in pretty good shape.

A Pictorial History of the World's Great Nations (book cover)

Queen Elizabeth signing Mary of Scots' death warrant (engraving)

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