Notes: Two circa 1870s carte de visite photographs from a Brooklyn photographer, probably copy prints from a returned missionary or traveller to India.
The first image is a portrait of a seated woman with two young children. On the back (verso) someone has written in a contemporary hand, "A Zenana Lady with her two children. She is the only one who has ever been permitted to go out to have her Photograph taken. She can read and write Bengalee and is studying English, History, Grammar, and Geography" (capitalization in the original). The term "zenana" refers to the area of a house reserved for women. The fact that she is studying English suggests she might be associated with a Protestant school.
The second image, of a man standing with a book in his hand. He wears a striped hat and has a watch fob protruding from his tunic. This image is captioned on the verso (back), "Baboo, a Native Hindoo Gentleman in his winter dress with a Cloth Sar[?] and Indian Shawl" (capitalization in the original). Baboo (or babu) is more of an honorific than a name, perhaps suggesting that the person pictured was a respected community leader.
The images date from around 1870, based on the photographer's address in Brooklyn. According to the back (verso) of the mounts, William F. Hunter was located at 282 Fulton Street, in Brooklyn, when these photographs were developed and mounted, an address he used in 1870 directories. Later in the decade he operated out of other buildings on Fulton Street. These mounts are quite thin, which was typical of CDVs from around 1870.
Each albumen silver print is mounted on 2-3/8 by 3-15/16 inch cards with a narrow printed border.
Edition + Condition: The family image has medium-low contrast and a bit of wear to the corners of the mount. The standing male figure offers nice contrast, with a few spots on the print.
Publication: Brooklyn: Wm. F. Hunter, (1870s?).
Item No: #307244