JAMES AND MARY PIGGOTT: PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG COUPLE IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

sf couple

This cabinet card portrait features a lovely young couple posed for their portrait at Cramer’s California Gallery in San Francisco. The reverse of the photograph has an inscription with the name “James Piggott and wife”. Preliminary research identifies this couple as James K Piggott and his wife Mary A. Piggott. Ironically, the 1940 US census indicates that James Piggott owned a photography studio. The business was managed by his son, Harold B. Piggott. The photographer of this cabinet card was Charles Lake Cramer (1835-1911). In his early career he operated photography studios in the California cities of Santa Barbara (1858), San Andreas (1858), and Suisun City (1860). Cramer ran a humorous ad in 1858 that stated “Good pictures made from hard looking subjects”. In 1863, Cramer worked for photographers Bradley & Rulofson (featured prominently in the Cabinet Card Gallery). Cramer ran his own photographic studio in San Francisco between 1863 and 1906. His studio was called the “California Gallery” during the 1870’s and 1880’s which indicates that this photograph was produced during one of those decades (Most probably the 1880’s).

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