Posts Tagged ‘CDV’

Unknown but lovely

July 17, 2016

These two photos are of a couple of unknown people – one of them with an unknown dog. Here’s the lad.

The lad has been lifted off his background by shading out the edge. We have no idea who he is.


And now the lady and dog.


Here we have a fabulously sharp image although the dog may have a human thumb print across its face. Both images are carte de visite (CDV) size and both have the mark of Alf Burgess on the back.


We think Alf used this style in his early days as a professional photographer – or maybe he ran out of his pre-printed cards.

So not only are we unable to name the people, we are also unsure of the date.

Any suggestions would be well received.

These photos are in a Victorian album of photos of the Durnford family.


Joseph Ashley

July 11, 2016

We have met people called Joseph Ashley a couple of times before on this blog. Back in January 2016 we looked at a will (click here) of a Joseph who died in 1849. We have also looked at the cost of a funeral of Elizabeth who died in 1904 – the widow of a Joseph Ashley (click here).

Today we offer a photograph of a Joseph Ashley.

Joseph Ashley on a carte de visite

Joseph Ashley on a carte de visite

This is the style of photo known as a carte de visite or CDV. The back can be useful in helping to date it.

The border on the back of this CDV dates it almost certainly to the 1870s

The border on the back of this CDV dates it almost certainly to the 1870s

The phrase ‘Photographers to the Queen’ dates it to the reign of Victoria. The border on the back of this card would almost certainly date it to the 1870s.

Elizabeth was born a Durnford (which explains Joseph’s presence in this Durnford photo album). Elizabeth was born in Market Lavington but Joseph was a Londoner. The couple married in London in the 1850s where Joseph was a member of the police force. They lived in London whilst Joseph worked but by 1891 they were in Wiltshire at our neighbouring village of Great Cheverell. There is no evidence that Joseph actually lived in Market Lavington but he is buried in the churchyard here. He died in 1900.

In 1901 Elizabeth, his widow, was living with relatives in Market Lavington. She died in 1904.

We haven’t traced any connection between this Joseph Ashley and the one who wrote the will.




A Burgess Photo

June 18, 2014

This is one of those photos where we’d love to identify the person photographed.

A CDV by Burgess of Market Lavington - but who is the subject?

A CDV by Burgess of Market Lavington – but who is the subject?

This is CDV sizes (carte de visite) and we think it is late 19th century. A rather dapper young man has had his likeness taken. He is smartly dressed with an elegant watch chain displaying a cross motif. His hand rests alongside his bowler hat. We just don’t know who he is.

The back of the card is of interest and helps with dating the photo.

The back of the Carte de Visite

The back of the Carte de Visite

The person clearly visited Alf Burgess’s High Street Studio but of course he may have come from anywhere in the area – not just Market Lavington or Easterton.

Has anybody out there any ideas?

Believe it or not?

April 8, 2013

Can we believe the written word? Often we can, but certainly not always. Today’s blog is a case in point.

We were looking through some old CDVs we had. CDV stands for Carte de Visite and they were quite a standard style of nineteenth century photograph. They measure 54 by 85 millimetres and were an ideal shape and size for a small full length portrait photo. They were exceedingly popular and it is no wonder we have quite a lot of them at Market Lavington Museum.

Here is one of them, a charming shot of two young lads.

Charming CDV showing two lads - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

Charming CDV showing two lads – a photo at Market Lavington Museum

Our records do not tell us the names of the lads. Indeed, it is really the back of the photo which holds definite Market Lavington interest,

The photo is by A Burgess of Market Lavington

The photo is by A Burgess of Market Lavington

We’ll ignore that bit of hand writing at the top for a moment and consider the main features. Well straight away we can see that this was a studio photo by A Burgess of Market Lavington and that he could use the new instantaneous process when photographing children. He kept his negatives so copies could be made later. But actually, we can learn more from the general style of the back of this CDV. A wonderful website at allows us to date the backs of these old photos. From that we think this card dates to around the late 1880s and possibly into the early 1890s.

Now to that hand written bit at the top. It barely shows on the original CDV. The enhanced photo here makes it easy to read – Wally and Eric James. Presumably someone decided this was a photo of these two lads. There is certainly a similarity between the younger lad and another picture we have of Eric which you can see here.

But that photo dates from 1918. If this one is a similar age, it surely wouldn’t have been printed on 1880s card. We don’t think this photo can be Wally and Eric. But those brothers had a father called Walter who was born and raised in Market Lavington – born in 1879. He fits with the supposed age of the CDV. Sadly he had no brother called Eric. Walter’s brothers were Charles born in 1876 and Arthur born in 1885.

At present we have no way of knowing if those two lads are members of the James family. It will be a long shot, but perhaps someone out there in blogland can help.

Whoever the lads are we can admire the skills of our Alf Burgess, our Market Lavington photographer.