The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

A barefooted boy

A barefooted boy

A carte-de-visite portrait of a barefooted vagabond posed against a studio backdrop as if seated by the side of the road. The large, open carte-de-visite album next to him carries the demand 'Your life or your portrait', a play on the phrase traditionally ascribed to highwaymen.

During the height of 'Cartomania' it was common for a family's carte-de-visite album to be displayed prominently in the home. Guests perusing the album were sometimes enjoined to add their own portraits to those already collected by their hosts.

Photographer unidentified. The backplate identifies the wholesaler and distributor, Burgwitz and Co of Aldersgate Street, London.

Code: 126208
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© Paul Frecker 2018