Albert Mayer And Tobias Branger Storefronts, Davos, Switzerland

Carte-de-visite. Circa 1890s. Davos, Switzerland

Availability Status:  SOLD          Size:  4 and 1/16 x 2 and 7/16″

Circa 1890’s, Davos, Switzerland….

Here’s a carte-de-visite found at an antique shop on the Central Coast of California. And, it’s always a thrill to get a photo scanned to the computer (mentally rubbing hands together in anticipation of being hit with the wow factor, or the “hmmmmm factor”, which is just as good, or better, the intrigue, you know….which can then lead us to the wow factor. 😉 ) But, it can’t be stretching the point to say that each item anyone finds (or has, or looks at, or whatever) whether it’s a postcard, a photo, a trade card, a calling card, or some other enchanting piece of ephemera, likewise a piece of furniture, jewelry, etc., is like a key just waiting to open, or re-open, multiple doorways. Come to think about it everything has a history, even a scrap of paper lying on the ground outside….The contemplation of the history of everything is mind-blowing, which leads one to thinking about the inter-connectedness of everything and everyone, no doorways now, just like a billion times a billion, or better, infinity times infinity of criss-crossed links, well….really just oneness. (Is this how enlightenment happens for some, the contemplation of a piece of dust or a scrap of paper?)

Alpine air and wonderful shops

Davos, Switzerland, circa 1890s:  A street scene showing the Centralhof, (Central court) which is the tall building, (guessing this might have been an apartment building or hotel) and attached to the Centralhof a line of single-story shops; of these, the two store names that we can discern are, on the left, Albert Mayer Juwelier (Jewelry store) and on the right Tob. Branger. Click the image to enlarge and note at the top of the Branger window, there’s a phrase of some sort, the second word appears to be Voyage. The first word appears to start with an “A” so, maybe it was the poetic, l’Art du Voyage:  It turns out that Tobias (pronounced TOE-be-us) Branger and brother Johannes owned a shop specializing in, “…sporting equipment and ‘travelling utensils.’ ” 

All who wander…..

A little research explodes into lots of (snow-covered) paths to wander down…..Wow! Tobias Branger, thought to be the first professional ski instructor in the Alps…..he and brother Johannes teaching author Arthur Conan Doyle to ski….the history of Alpine skiing…..Doyle’s contribution to Davos as a winter sports destination….Davos’ history as a health resort for tuberculosis sufferers….the life of Louisa Doyle, Conan’s first wife…..Tobias’ “Norwegian snowshoes” (were they in the shop window at the time of the carte-de-visite photo?)….Alpine skiing with one pole….night skiing to avoid ridicule (I’m picturing the Brangers and other pioneers hanging out with today’s winter X sports pioneers and contributors – kindred spirits, for sure.) Wonderful articles online abound – see the links further below. And a question:  Is that Tobias and Johannes Branger posing outside their shop in the photo? A definite maybe. And though Tobias Branger and Conan Doyle are said to have looked remarkably alike, of the two, it would seem to be Tobias (on our left) in the image. See the comparison photos in In the Tracks of Sherlock Holmes, first link below.

Location confirmation

Backtracking a little, not being certain, at first, that the scene on our card was really Davos, we found mention of jeweler Albert Mayer, in the Dutch publication shown below, which is a guide for the treatment center for lung ailments and a travel guide. Description of some of the shops lists Mayer’s as having “the finest gold works, watches and rings,” and just to mention a couple more, a store selling Swiss wood carvings and (one can picture how the author of this booklet was charmed at finding) a flower shop with [Google translation from Dutch]  “the most robust little bouquets, even in winter when the trampled snow outside the shops is at least two feet high.”

In the Tracks of Sherlock Holmes

Davos –  the pioneer:  Winter tourism in the Alps

The Davos sledge:  A classic among sports equipment

Two Planks and a Passion

Teller of Tales:  The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle

More musings on the carte details….

Was there some occasion for this photograph, or was it just the occasion of a photographer taking a photo circa 1890s? Note the three people on the second story outdoor courtyard area of the Centralhof building, two ladies on the left and a man on the right. (This from inspection under a magnifying glass – feeling a little Sherlock Holmes-y, for sure….) Other details to note are the duffel-looking bags (maybe mail bags) in front of both Albert Mayer’s and the Brangers’ shop; the poster advertisement – a mustachioed man with epaulets pointing in the distance and young woman just below him, it’s maybe a company name advertised there (almost readable) ; the iron balconies of the Centralhof building; the beautiful horizontal stripe effect of the mason work on the shop fronts….

Sources:  Stashower, Daniel. Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle. Henry Holt & Co., 1999. Google Books accessed March 31, 2013.

Davos – the pioneer:  Winter tourism in the Alps. (www.davos.ch.) Accessed March 31, 2019.

The Davos sledge:  A classic among sports equipment. (www.davos.ch.) Accessed March 31, 2019.

Louisa Hawkins. The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia. (www.arthur-conan-doyle.com) Accessed March 31, 2019.

Huntford, Roland. Two Planks and a Passion: The Dramatic History of Skiing. Continuum UK, 2008. Google Books accessed March 31, 2013.

Rosenblatt, Albert and Julia. “In the Tracks of Sherlock Holmes.”  Skiing. February 1982. pp. 74-78. Google Books accessed March 31, 2013.

Andriessen, Willem Frederik. Davos: eene beschrijving van het leven in dit herstellingsoord voor borstlijders. Van Raven, 1888. p. 56. Google Books accessed March 31, 2013.

CDV By Mrs. E. B. Chappell

Carte de Visite, circa 1870s – mid-1880s. Photographer:  Mrs. E. B. Chappell.

Price:  $10.00        Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 13/16″

Like the last post, here’s a beautiful child posing for a Carte de Visite photo, also in that common “casual” style pose (just my take on it, as in….It’s casual Dudette 😉 but all about what to do with placement of arms and hands, etc. in a photo, so as not to look awkward)  standing, with one arm resting on the fringed armrest of the photographer’s chair and a leg crossed at the ankle. The little girl in the image wears a watch or pendant chain necklace as well as a  bracelet on both wrists, so perhaps the family was somewhat well-to-do.

Sort of a mystery

The photographer, Mrs. E. B. Chappell of Sturgis, Michigan, was not verified in directories or census records. Several websites have a little info on her as Mrs. Eliza B. Chappell, operating in Sturgis and Athens, Michigan, with dates ranging from 1884 – 1889 on Cabinet Cards, but finding a Mrs. Edith Chappell living in Sturgis on the 1870 Federal Census (maiden name Reeves in other records) leaves one to wonder if they could be the same person. (Edith changed to Eliza?…middle initial “B” as the next letter in Elizabeth?) Edith and her husband Edward Chappell had three children, Charles, William and Sarah (Sarah died in infancy in 1873.) Edith and Edward were both born in England, and it seems they might have separated (she is on the 1870 in Sturgis with her boys in August, but almost a month earlier the family is together on the 1870 in Jackson. By the 1880, Edward Chappell is still in Jackson, has the boys with him, and is listed as single. Edith is not found on the 1880 census (nor is Eliza B.) This is just a theory for now. And true, there may be city directories for Sturgis and/or Athens that list the photographer, but if they exist, they are not online, so a more in-depth search is needed.

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Jackson, Jackson, Michigan; Roll: 585; Page: 294A; Enumeration District: 117. (Ancestry.com).

Willliam Henry Chappell. Find A Grave Memorial #79180039. Findagrave.com (accessed January 12, 2018).

Julia Driver Collection of Women in Photography. General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Treadwell, T. K. and Darrah, William C., comp., Photographers of the United States of America. (National Stereoscopic Association, copyright 1994. Updated 2003).

Death Records. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing, Michigan. Ancestry.com. Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1950.

Year: 1870; Census Place: Jackson Ward 1, Jackson, Michigan; Roll: M593_678; Page: 143B; Family History Library Film: 552177. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1870; Census Place: White Pigeon, St Joseph, Michigan; Roll: M593_700; Page: 345A; Family History Library Film: 552199. (Ancestry.com).

Ed Anderson, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Carte de Visite, circa 1875 – 1883. Photographer:  Charles H. Tebo, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Price:  $12.00            Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/8″

Confident Ed

Ed, a sturdy and confident-looking boy of about five or six years old, has posed for this Carte de Visite, and there are at least a couple of possibilities for him from online records:  On the 1880 Federal Census there is the Edward H. Anderson, born about 1877 in Wisconsin, parents Joseph D. and Elizabeth A. Anderson, living in the town of Washington (just southeast of Eau Claire) or the Edward Anderson, born about January 1870 in Wisconsin from the 1870 Federal Census for Eau Claire, son of Norwegian born Ole and Emily Anderson.

Charles Hamilton Tebo, photographer

The photographer for this Carte de Visite was New York State native Charles Hamilton Tebo, born 1850 and per the CDV his studio location was on the “north side of Broadway”. Only one record was found for him under this occupation which was the 1880 census for Eau Claire, and surprisingly, no city directories were found for him as a photographer –  the closest directory record found after 1880 is not until 1889, in which he is listed as a grocer. So, this makes it a little more difficult to try to narrow down dates, to see if the photo is more likely of one of the two Ed Andersons mentioned above, or if it might be of a different Ed Anderson entirely. (Photos of the photographer and his family have been posted on Ancestry.com. family trees.)

Definition given

One more thing of note:  Look closely and you’ll see that someone drew lines on Ed’s hair in the photo. And in taking a look at the actual CDV, it appears this may have been done by the photographer, before processing the image. He probably thought the hair blended too much with the background and needed some definition.

Sources:  Edward H. Anderson. Year: 1880; Census Place: Washington, Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Roll: 1425; Page: 472D; Enumeration District: 135. (Ancestry.com).

Edward Anderson. Year: 1870; Census Place: North Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Roll: M593_1712; Page: 285B; Family History Library Film: 553211. (Ancestry.com).

Charles H. Tebo. Year: 1880; Census Place: Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Roll: 1425; Page: 439A; Enumeration District: 132. (Ancestry.com).

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Eau Claire Directory, 1889 – 1890. p. 311. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Montréal Girl

Carte de Visite. Photographer:  Notman & Sandham. Circa 1877 – 1882.

Price:  To be determined.        Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 4″

William Notman (1826 – 1891)

Henry Sandham (1842 – 1910)

The Notman collection (about 650,000 photographic works) is, according to Marian Scott’s article in the Montreal Gazette,  “…the jewel in the crown of the McCord Museum,”  the McCord being located in Montréal, Québec, Canada. Though our carte-de-visite above does not show off the incredible clarity nor have the chance to exhibit any of the innovation that the Notman firm became known for, it’s still a lovely portrait of a beautiful young woman. She wears a Christian cross, possibly jeweled, on a rather large-link short chain; a high, white ruffled collar under a dark blouse or dress; and a bow tying back her dark hair, which is worn parted in the middle with short bangs.

Photo and paint….

We don’t necessarily think of painters (artists in oil, watercolor, etc.) in conjunction with photographic artists. Or, at least, I confess, I did not. Notman is said to have developed and made popular the composite photo, where individual studio portraits were taken, cut out, fastened onto the composite negative of a painted background (this is my understanding from piecing together a couple of online descriptions) and printed. Below, a well-known example entitled, “La culbute” (The bounce) of the Montréal Snowshoe Club. Notman & Son, 1886. Per author Sarah Parsons, William Notman:  Life & Work, the Notman firm offered oil paintings of all its photos. No wonder then, that Notman’s photography company had its own art department (which was for some years headed by Henry Sandham.)

Below, a couple of articles referencing Henry Sandham, from the Boston Herald, January 23rd and August 14th, 1881.

Last, but not least, another prominent Canadian, printer George-Édouard Desbarats (1838 – 1893) who was the founder of the lithography firm that did the reverse of our Montréal Girl cdv. The printing on the bottom left of the card shows  “Desbarats, lith., Montreal.”

Sources:  William Notman. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Notman. (accessed February 26, 2017).

Henry Sandham. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sandham. (accessed February 26, 2017).

Scott, Marian. “William Notman:  portrait of a visionary photographer at McCord Museum.” montrealgazette.com, November 4, 2016. Web accessed February 26, 2017.

Parsons, Sarah. (2014). William Notman:  Life & Work. http://www.aci-iac.ca/content/art-books/19/Art-Canada-Institute_William-Notman.pdf. (accessed February 26, 2017)

File: The Bounce, Montreal Snowshoe Club.jpg. n.d. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Bounce,_Montreal_Snowshoe_Club.jpg. (accessed February 26, 2017).

The Sunday Herald. (Boston, MA). Sunday, January 23, 1881, p. 2. (genealogybank.com)

The Sunday Herald. (Boston, MA). Sunday, August 14, 1881, p. 12. (genealogybank.com)

Desbarats, George-Édouard. Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. XII (1891 – 1900). http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/desbarats_george_edouard_12E.html. (accessed February 26, 2017).

Woman In Plaid, Malmö, Sweden

Woman In Plaid Malmo Sweden cdv1Woman In Plaid Malmo Sweden cdv2

Carte-de-Visite by photographer Per Axel Sjöberg. Malmö, Sweden. Circa 1905 – 1915.

Price:  $7.00        Size:  2 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/8″

The most recent year on the back of the CDV, advertising the photographer’s awards and locations given, shows 1905; very helpful in placing an approximate date for the photo of the beautiful Swedish woman with the regal bearing. Is she the same woman from the prior post, but somewhat older? Maybe, or maybe not, but there does seem to be a resemblance. Both CDVs were found in the same bin at one of the recent paper fairs in San Francisco, so if they are not the same person, they could at least be related. And in looking closely at her plaid blouse it appears to be made from flannel.

See the next post for details on the photographer, Axel Sjöberg.

A Handsome Swedish Couple

A Handsome Swedish Couple cdv1A Handsome Swedish Couple cdv2

Carte-de-Visite, circa 1890 – 1910.

Price:  $7.00     Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/8″

A portrait of a young Swedish couple (for me the gentleman bears a strong resemblance to former Detroit Red Wing hockey player Tomas Holmström, the “Demolition Man” and Tomas-a-loca!, per my husband who is forever making up names for everyone, okay to be precise, it was a borrowed expression from someone he used to work with, but adapted to Homer. Yes, we’re huge Wings fans….) We have another Carte-de-Visite of a woman (found in the same group of old photos) and we wonder if she is one and the same or if they are sisters. She’ll be up in the next post.

As to the photographer, the back of the card shows:   “Gustaf Brink, P.D. Hoffotograf, Sw. Swenssons Atelier, Engelholm, Storgatan 55, Telefon 236.”  We’re not finding anything in the way of a biography for Gustaf Brink, but the Swedish genealogy website Rötter has a number of CDVs by him. The town of Engelholm is found on the map spelled Ängelholm, and we see “Hoffotograf” spelled “Hovfotograf” and translated in Google as “Court Photographer.”

Sources:  Tomas Holmström. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomas_Holmstr%C3%B6m (accessed September 2, 2016).

Rötter. http://www.genealogi.se/ (accessed September 2, 2016).

Ängelholm. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%84ngelholm (accessed September 2, 2016).

A Beautiful Lady At Christmastime

“Wishing You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

A Beautiful Lady At Christmastime p1

No name on the back or photographer name, just a photo of a woman sending her Christmas and New Year’s wishes. She is perhaps in her fifties, with a very sweet expression. Her hair is swept up and back. She wears a crocheted white vest over a dark-colored dress or blouse with high collar, sleeves puffed at the shoulder, which may date the photo from the 1890s, a necklace with round pendant and a smaller brooch.

Carte de Visite with Christmas and New Year’s wishes. Circa 1890s.

Price:  $2.00        Size:  2 and 3/8 x 4″

Compliments Of Jimmie To Mrs. Carrie Hoagland

Compliments Of Jimmie To Mrs Carrie Hoagland cdv1Compliments Of Jimmie To Mrs Carrie Hoagland cdv2

Carte de Visite. Photo of Jimmie to a Mrs. Carrie Hoagland. Circa 1870s.

Price:  $5.00        Size:  About 2 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/2″

A Carte de Visite photo from about the 1870s….of Jimmie to a Mrs. Carrie Hoagland. Just look at that beautiful handwriting! Jimmie, a nice-looking young man with a heartbreakingly sad expression, (awww, hugs) wears a suit coat with wide lapels, a white shirt and a short necktie, and looks to be about sixteen or so. Was this a school photo given to his teacher? Carrie, Caroline or Carolina Hoagland (Mrs.) – wow, there are far too many possibilities under this name. What might give us a clue is the second word that is scribbled over at the bottom – if anyone can decipher it! I came up with some crazy words that when Googling, were identified, for example, as a fictional place in the land of Mario Bros. (hee hee) or the name of a Brazilian steel tube maker (lordy). But it seems like it might be a last name, as the first word there looks like “Hannah.” And maybe it was written around the same time that Jimmie signed the card – the “H” is in the same style.

Frank McMullen, Dayton, Ohio, 1894

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A handsome young man signed, dated and identified his location on the back of this Carte de Visite:   “Your Friend. Frank McMullen. Dayton O. 9/22/84.”

If Frank is about eighteen in this photo, he would have been born about 1866. An 1880 Federal Census record for Dayton, Ohio, shows young Frank, about age 15 (born about 1865) living with his sister, Eva (McMullen) Hanitch; brother-in-law Henry Hanitch, and nephew, three-month-old Walter Hanitch. The address for the family is 207 Water St.

The 1870 census for German Township (about 33 miles southwest of Dayton) shows more McMullens:  Anne, age 37; Eva, age 16; Emma, age 7, as well as Frank, age 5. They are living with the Schaeffer family, and presumably, Anne McMullen is the mother. This record fits since we have Eva and Frank, and also ties into a later Dayton city directory (1893) that shows Ann (the widow of John and confirming Anne as the mother), Frank and younger sister Emma, living at 136 N. Sunset Avenue, in Dayton. In 1893 Frank is working as a traveling salesman for Thresher & Co.

A much earlier Dayton city directory (1881) shows Frank working as a clerk at 17 S. Main St., boarding at 207 W. Water, between Wilkinson and Liberty. So, Frank was out in the work force at least as early as about age sixteen.

Carte de Visite. Dated September 22, 1884. Dayton, Ohio.

Price:  $12.00     Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/8″

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio; Roll: 1051; Family History Film: 1255051; Page: 106C; Enumeration District: 151; Image: 0211. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1870; Census Place: German, Montgomery, Ohio; Roll: M593_1248; Page: 475B; Image: 174; Family History Library Film: 552747. (Ancestry.com)

Williams & Co.’s Williams’ Dayton Directory, 1881 – ’82. p. 291. (Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989.)

Williams & Co.’s Williams’ Dayton Directory, 1893 – ’94. p. 552. (Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989.)

Miss Francis Burgin

Miss Francis Burgin cdv1Miss Francis Burgin cdv2

This Carte de Visite, circa 1859, was found in an antique shop in San Juan Bautista, California. Though the descendants are named on the back as grandson Philip McArthur and great-grandson Neil McArthur, no match was found online for Francis (possibly spelled Frances) Burgin and family. But it’s amazing to have this much information – quite out of the ordinary! And what is that plume-like object that Francis holds in her right hand? Upon closer inspection it looks like it may be a hat with a plume or fur top and a wide dark band.

Note:  Probably the original size was 4 x 1/2″ but for some reason the right-hand side of the card was trimmed.

Carte de Visite. Circa 1859.

Price:  $10.00       Size:  4 x 2 and 3/8″