Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What Makes a Great Cabinet Card?

There are millions of cabinet cards out there, so why buy one over another? A great pose, interesting face, unique clothing or a particular skill on the part of the photographer are all great reasons to buy an image. Sometimes, as was the case with this card, it's the back. I saw all of the medals and assumed that photographer Dabbs was a multi award winner, but when I got home and looked at them with a lens, I was a bit surprised. Three are identical logos for The Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society, three are basically advertising marks, a couple of things in Latin that could be anything and one, and only one, award medallion. Well, I guess that means that false advertising is nothing new. It reminds me of the old story of how P.T. Barnum got people to move out of his venues. He put up big signs that said "This way to the Egress." Egress is just a fancy way of saying, this way out.

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