Six Victorian photographs cabinet cards ladies studio portrait hairdressing hair ornament (AAB) - image 1 of 16

A collection of six female cabinet card photographic images from the mid to later Victorian era showing fashion, hairdressing and hair combs

CONDITION: good vintage condition with signs of use.

SIZE: 4¼ x 6½ inches (10 x 15 cm)

APPROXIMATE DATE: 1880s – 1890s.


Here are six good quality cabinet cards showing photographic studio portraits of ladies from the mid to later Victorian era, with particular reference to hair dressing and hair accessories. They have a variety of hair styles and ornaments.

These Victorian ladies wear Spanish or elaborate tiara style combs. The ladies in the 1890s images show the hair piled up and transfixed by upstanding hair pins. One lady displays a pompadour or Gibson Girl hairdressing held together by a group of plain topped hair pins.

They are part of a personal collection of over a thousand such images which I have amassed in the course of my studies into fashion and hairdressing. However technology has moved on and all my images are now digitally stored. So it is time to pass these delightful pictures onto new owners.

Vintage photographs are a fascinating subject which is of interest to a number of collecting groups. As well as collectors of images and those with an interest in early photography they also appeal to re-enactors, students of fashion, and anyone involved in theatrical costuming.


The cabinet card was a style of photograph which was widely used for photographic portraiture after 1870. It consisted of a thin photograph mounted on a card typically measuring 108 by 165 mm 4¼ x 6½ inches. Such photographs included extensive logos and information on the reverse side of the card to advertise the photographer’s services. Owing to the larger image size, the cabinet card steadily increased in popularity during the second half of the 1860s and into the 1870s, replacing the carte de visite as the most popular form of portraiture. This style of photographic portraiture remained popular until the early 20th century. It was usually undertaken by a professional photographer in the studio and could include elaborate backdrops and furniture along with its carefully posed images. The cabinet card was large enough to be easily viewed from across the room when typically displayed on a cabinet, which is probably why they became known as such in the vernacular.

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The Spanish Comb

Six Victorian photographs cabinet cards ladies studio portrait hairdressing hair ornament (AAB)


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