The Good Lady Wife and I went to an Antique Fare on Sunday (no, I didn't buy a willow plate) and, amongst other things, I came away with four small Victorian photographs of the type that are known as carte de visites (CDV). These small photographic portraits were popular in the 1880s and 1890s and they gave rise to a flowering of local photographic studios in the towns and cities of Britain. The joy of these little things - which only cost me 50 pence each - is not just reading the faces (which can be a timeless occupation in itself) - but also the wonderfully printed reverse sides which feature the business details of the photographic studios.
The example I am featuring here is a delightful portrait of a young woman which was taken by the North-Eastern photographer, Tobias Braybrook. It appears that Braybrook was active in West Hartlepool in the 1880s and 1890s and I am sure that there must be hundreds of these small CDV's of his around. But there is something charming about it, something that makes me want to treasure it. I suspect I have just become a collector of CDV's so you can expect to see more on News From Nowhere from time to time.
One result from Googling Tobias Braybrook was to find a link to a great little tale written by his great, great, great niece who, a few years ago, was writing an on-line journal under the name of radiaor_grrrl. She spins a strange story of meeting her long-dead photographer antecedent whilst he was selling ice-creams on the sea front at Marske! Another example of how little things can take you on the strangest journeys.