Cabinet Card, circa 1880s – 1890s. Possible photographer: J. R. Johnson. Possible location California.
The fourth of four Cabinet Cards found in the small Soquel, CA antique and vintage shop, and it’s possible they may have come from the same family, but unknown. There is no photographer printing or stamp on the front or back but there is a name on the back, (above the unfortunate tear) possibly a signature which shows “J. R. Johnson.” I think this may be the photographer’s name rather than the name of the father or son in the photo, or person it was given to. The odds are stacked against for this one in finding i.d. – common last name, first initials only, no location. But it’s a wonderful photo, even though the faces of the three, especially the mom and son, are very light. The photo shows a young couple, and their probably five or six-year old son. The man is seated on a wooden chair with his around around his son, the woman standing with her hand on her husband’s shoulder, and the boy standing next to his dad with his hand resting on the dad’s crossed leg: a typical family pose of the day. Some interesting details to pick out in this photo are the woman’s rather tight-fitting gloves; the fact that she holds probably a white handkerchief in her left hand which seems a little out of keeping with her black or dark very stylish dress; the boy’s woolen sailor suit (wonderful sailor design stitching) with cap, high button boots and his toy rifle (or possibly a real one or maybe just the photographer’s prop); the man’s jacket and vest in subtle plaid and his bow tie of a different plaid material…. And it looks like this photo was taken outdoors in front of a photographer’s backdrop of a city park. But all in all, a beautiful family photo.