Tom Thumb Comp Card – “Liliputian Souvenir”

Here’s an interesting one – a composite CDV of all the wedding CDVs from Tom Thumb’s wedding, plus a couple. This must have been a promo teaser from the Anthony archives, showcasing all the Tom Thumb CDVs in their catalog.

TomThumbWeddingCompCard

I have most of the wedding CDVs except the one with the priest (if anyone has a lead on a good copy of that one, please send me that way!), and a whole bunch not included on this card. When I get the chance to re-scan and re-organize my Tom Thumb CDV collection, I’ll post a new summary of them.

 

 

Tom Thumb’s Wedding Cake

Another recent acquisition – Tom Thumb’s Wedding Cake. I love the advertisement on the rear of the CDV. And look at that cake! That could win a reality TV baking competition today.¬†TomThumbCake

I wonder who Hailey was, and why she sent this – was it meant as a suggestion of who to get their cake from?

New Tom Thumb CDV

TomThumbWifeBabyAdvert

The latest arrival in my collection – a new CDV of the Thumb “family” including the rent-a-baby, in a pose I haven’t seen before, combined with an advertising verso. The grand irony of the advertisement is that it violates the prime directive of advertising – let your customers know WHERE to get your products. Where on earth (let alone what street in what town in what state) is B. Green’s Modern Wonder Department??

 

Second Pose – Lavinia Warren by Appleton

Lavinia Warren, by Appleton

I just acquired another CDV of Lavinia Warren by Appleton of New York. What’s interesting is that here the photographer, A.A. Turner, is also credited on the studio imprint. I’m assuming that in order for this to have happened, Mr. Turner must have been a financial partner in the business or otherwise a major player, because the other name studios of the period never credited the camera operators, even ones who later went on to have extremely notable careers of their own (Timothy O’Sullivan and Alexander Gardner both worked for Mathew Brady at some point but are not credited on Brady’s cartes de visite, even when Gardner was Brady’s studio manager in DC and helped restore the financial well-being of the studio).

Lavinia Warren, by Appleton
Lavinia Warren, by Appleton

For comparison I’m including the other Lavinia Warren image by Appleton I have:

Lavinia Warren, by Appleton
Lavinia Warren, by Appleton

These appear to be different sittings, as her outfit and the furniture in both scenes are different.

Tom Thumb, Lavinia Warren by C.D. Fredricks

My biggest collecting theme so far is Tom Thumb. I got started when I was first starting to collect CDVs and found one of the Tom Thumb wedding photos by Brady with the facsimile signatures on the verso. Lately I’ve been spurred in my collecting to see if they can outdo Frederick Douglass in their image-making as the most photographed people of the 19th century (see my blog post about¬†Tom Thumb and Frederick Douglass)

ThumbWarrenChairFredricksCDV

This is another CDV of Tom Thumb and his wife, Lavinia Warren, by C.D. Fredricks. I think I’m up to 25 now, and I know there are at least a dozen more images I don’t have that are in reasonably widespread circulation. I don’t think I have any that are particularly rare. This was a very nice acquisition as it is in near-mint condition and the print is exceptionally sharp and fresh.

General Tom Thumb – who’s the copy?

Tom Thumb and his Wife, by Masury
Tom Thumb and his Wife, by Masury

Here’s an interesting thing that happens when collecting 19th century images. Copyright law was somewhere between feeble and nonexistent in the second half of the 1800s. Photographers frequently ripped one another off, making copies of a very popular and successful image and re-selling them under their own name. Here I have two identical images, one on Masury’s logo, the other on Case & Getchell’s. It’s hard to tell who is the copyist and who is the original. Given the overall quality of both is quite high, it may be that one of them bought the negative from the other and reprinted the image legitimately.

Tom Thumb and his Wife, by Case and Getchell
Tom Thumb and his Wife, by Case and Getchell