Pretty theater actress Marguerite Fish is the subject of this portrait cabinet card by Naegeli whose studio was located in New York City. Miss Fish began her stage career with her mother. They performed as a song and dance team known as Jenny Benson and Baby Benson. Later, she became known as Marguerite Fish and was a comic opera and musical actress. She has a number of mentions in the New York Times for her stage performances. These citations include appearances in “Our Wedding Day” (1887) and “The Crystal Slipper” (1888). Albert Naegeli, the photographer of this image, was a well known New York City photographer during the cabinet card era. To learn more about him and to view more of his photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Naegeli”.
This photograph features a pretty young woman in a beautiful dress. She has a nice figure enhanced by a corset. She is wearing a ring and earrings. This image could be placed under the categories of “fashion” as well as “beautiful women”. The photographer is Albert Naegeli (1844-1901) who operated a photographic studio in New York City’s Union Square. Naegeli was a native of Germany who came to the United States at the age of sixteen in 1860. He settled in New York City. He began his photography business in New York City in 1864 during the CDV era. He moved the business to the 46 East Fourteenth Street location in 1876. He partnered there with Edward M. Estabrooke who was a tintype expert. Their partnership ended in 1880 and Estabrooke relocated to Elizabeth, New Jersey. Naegeli trained his sons Albert (photographer) and Henry (Technician) in the photography business. Naegeli specialized in portraits of theater stars. The subject of this photograph could very well be an actress of this era. Naegeli was a smart businessman and invested wisely in Real Estate and became a very wealthy man. The cause of his death remains a mystery. He died from a gun shot wound to his head. His son, Albert, claimed that the death was accidental but others thought that he committed suicide because he was depressed about the recent death of his daughter from a spinal disease. Whatever the reason for his death, New York City lost a talented photographer at the time of his demise. The photograph above is an example of his acumen. The format of the photograph and advertising beneath the image is identical to photographs that Naegeli took in 1899, indicating that this photograph dates back to around that year. The photograph measures 5″ X 7″.The image is sharp.