Monday, 26 May 2008

Colourised CDV by John Loeffler of Tompkinsville, Staten Island, NY

This vignetted carte de visite of a young child by prolific photographer and publisher J. Loeffler of Tompkinsville, Staten Island, New York was taken in the 1860s. Although not a particularly remarkable portrait, an attempt has been made to make it a little more interesting by colouring it in pink (cheeks), yellow (hair) and blue (ribbon, shoes and dress).

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

It is very difficult to provide an accurate date for the portrait based on the photograph alone - my estimate is some time in the mid- to late 1860s, although it could also conceivably have been from the early 1870s. However, the reverse of the card mount enables us to narrow down the estimate considerably, as it has a 3c green George Washington Internal Revenue stamp.

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

These stamps were used to indicate that a tax had been paid on the photo. The taxes were levied by the United States Federal Government during the Civil War as a revenue raising exercise, and the system operated between 30 June 1864 and 1 August 1866. As was directed by the authorities, the photographer has "cancelled" the revenue stamp in ink with his initials, "J.L."

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

John Loeffler was a studio photographer and publisher of stereoviews who lived and worked on Staten Island, New York from the early 1860s until the early 1900s. He was born c. 1833 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and emigrated to the United States in 1854. His sons August and Alexander Loeffler were marine photographers.

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