This cabinet card image is highly unusual. I have seen few photographs from this era where the sitter is wearing a leather jacket. This young man is wearing a leather jacket and a cap. The way he is dressed suggests that he may have been a member of the military or the police. However, he is wearing no insignias or badges. The previous owner of this photograph reported that the image was purchased in the Ukraine. The cabinet card is of Russian origin but I can not confirm it is Ukrainian. If one looks at the reverse of the cabinet card inside the egg shaped oval design, one can see the word “Mockba”. This Russian word means Moscow and it is my hypothesis that the mount was produced there.

Published in: on March 22, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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russian funeral

This vintage photograph features the funeral of a Soviet partisan commander. The previous owner of this image states that the photograph was taken in 1943 although this date is unconfirmed. There are many things to note in this photograph. We see the deceased lying in an open coffin surrounded by many members of his community and family. Some of the men are holding rifles. The top of the coffin is in the foreground of the image and laying on it are two crossed rifles, a garland of flowers, and the late officers military cap. A large portrait of the deceased can also be seen in the foreground. This image certainly gives the viewer a real glimpse into Russian history. The image measures 5 3/4 ” x 7″ and is not on card stock. ADDENDUM: The cabinet card gallery is fortunate to have informed visitors who generously leave comments and information about many of this  site’s photographs. Two such visitors have informed me (see comments) that the identity of the man in the large photograph in front of the coffin is not the deceased. Actually, the portrait is of Vladimir Lenin.

Published in: on August 24, 2015 at 11:59 am  Comments (9)  


ugly doll

This vintage photograph features a cute little girl holding a not-so-cute doll in her lap. The doll has a very life-like appearance. The child is sitting on an unusual carved wooden chair. She is wearing a checkered skirt and a hair bow. The photograph was purchased from a Russian collector and likely originates there. The photograph is on card stock that is slightly thinner than the paper board seen on most cabinet cards.

Published in: on June 26, 2015 at 12:15 pm  Comments (7)  
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This photograph appears to be a family portrait judging by the family resemblance seen among the subjects. There is something very special about this image. Each of the four subjects have a very striking appearance. The young woman, furthest on the right side of the image, is especially beautiful. She has piercing eyes and seems to have troubling thoughts. This photograph has an abundance of personality. I am uncertain about where the photograph originates from. Reading the name of the photographer which is embossed on the bottom right hand corner of the mat, suggests that this is a Russian photograph. However, I have a major deficit in recognizing foreign languages, and this image could be from one of many other places in eastern Europe.

Published in: on October 10, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (9)  


This cabinet card features three children, likely siblings, posing for their portrait at a photographic gallery in Polotsk, Belarus. The young girl in the photograph is holding a ball held inside netting. Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery can provide more details about this toy. The previous owner of this cabinet card is from St. Petersburg, Russia. He has provided the photographers location, as well as the photographers name, Bernstein. He also contends that the way that the subjects are dressed in this image, indicates that they are scouts. In addition, the previous owner also asserts that the photographer of this image was Jewish. In fact, research reveals that the population of Polotsk in 1897 was over 20,000, and more than half of those residents were Jewish. There was a strong Orthodox Jewish community there.  The “Jewish Virtual Library” indicates that in the late nineteenth century, the city became embroiled in anti-Jewish agitation.


Three children are photographed in a garden, in this cabinet portrait by an unknown photographer somewhere in Imperial Russia. The nicely dressed kids are adorable. One boy is holding a rake while the other is holding a shovel. The boy with the shovel is wearing a military hat while the girl is more practical, wearing a sun hat.

Published in: on October 23, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card photograph captures a family in Imperial Russia. The father looks extremely intense and the mother is certainly not far behind the father in intensity level. The father actually appears angry. This couple has been very busy. They have six young children, all close in age. They must have faced a lot of  pressure to support such a large family. The photographer is Von Gotleb and the studio was located in Moscow.

Published in: on October 9, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  


This Cabinet card featuring a well dressed couple, offers a bit of mystery. The last owner of this card states that this couple are “Brody Yiddish Singers”. So what does that mean? First of all, Brody is a city in Lviv Oblast (province) of western Ukraine. The city was a crossroads and jewish trade center in the 19th century. Brody is considered to be Shtetls,  Brodersanger, Purim, Jewish theater, CzarAlexander III, Berl Margulis, Berl Broder, one of the “shtetls”. The city was famous for the Brodersanger or Broder singers who were among the first Jews to publicly perform Yiddish songs outside of Purim (a holiday) and wedding celebrations. These performers were the precursors of jewish theater. Due to anti Jewish regulation enacted in 1882 by Czar Alexander III of Russia and the resulting exodus of Russian Jews; throughout 1881 hundreds of Jewish immigrants arrived in Brody daily. The most famous Broder singer was Berl Margulis also known as Berl Broder (1815  -1868). It is not certain that this cabinet card really depicts Broder singers and no evidence is available to support the claim , but it is not unusual for families to pass down such information over generations and  there is a reasonable chance that the history is correct and the story is worth telling. The photographer of this cabinet card is Buscdorf.


RUSSIANOFFANDWIFEThis Russian cabinet card is a portrait of a uniformed Russian sailor and his wife. The reverse of the card has an inscription in Russian which states “In good memory for dear Ivan Afansevich and Agrippa Petrovna, from Maria and Aleksandr Limonnivov”. The inscription is dated January 30th, 1906.

Published in: on June 21, 2009 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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jew-family-in-minsk_0001This Cabinet card comes from the estate of a Jewish family.  The photograph is an image of a Jewish family in Minsk, Russia.  The parents and children are dressed up nicely for their visit to the photographers studio. Note the footwear and the young boy’s hat.

Published in: on April 29, 2009 at 12:33 am  Comments (5)  
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