Dating CDV photographs from the designs on the back
by Roger F. Vaughan 2003
The later 1870s
In the later 1870s the card started with square corners but these were gradually replaced by rounded corners - easier to slip into the slots in the carte de visite album now sold at every studio. Cards 2, 3 and 4 are the design I call 'Bamboo and Roses' the green one is by Marion, Imp Paris who claim the copyright, however this did not stop E.O.Regr & Depose' (Registered and deposited) from using and redrawing it almost exactly, the pink one by an un-named printer is different again, all I consider as varieties of the Marion card, and they date from c.1874, most being a few years later, c.1878. Placed in the centre of the design is a reminant of the 1860s simple design. By the end of the 1870s not only did most cards have rounded corners but a better quality of card has been used.
Card 5, Sam Sims, is a design by Riddle & Couchman and has elements of the above Bamboo and Roses and could be called Bamboo and Fruit if it wasn't for the ivy leaves!, again the 1860s design is simply placed in the centre of this late 1870s card. Paul Stabler has gone for what I call a playing card border around his old logo and the last card dated 1879 has that classic simplicity of the earlier cards, but done so well than no-one could fault it. It has essentially three fonts and a logo, common to so many cards of the 1880s to come.
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