Dating carte de visite

This enabled the image to be mounted in carte de visite albums although small albums specifically designed to fit one, two, four or six gems to the page directly were also produced.

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These combined factors can usually be combined to allow the dress historian to arrive at a close approximate dating for any given photograph featuring people in clothes.Certain features are time limited, such as crinoline frames worn only for eleven years from 1856 to 1867, soft bustles gathered up by internal ribbons in the early 1870s, artificial hairpieces from around 1869 to 1874, fishtail trains on dresses c1876-80, stiff angular bustles over steel frames c1881-6, and the introduction of female fringes and hair frizzing in the 1880s.The carte de visite is easily recognized by the small card on which the photograph is mounted.In contrast, by the end of the 19th century women's fashions tended to bring in a new detail each season, so the most fashionable ladies' photographs can often be dated to within a year.Some fashion features neatly typify decades, for example men's side partings and women's ringlets in the 1840s, men's centre partings and women's leg-of-mutton sleeves in the 1890s.