History of Photography
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The letters CDV are an acronym for the French carte de visite or visiting card. This style of antique photography took over in popularity from the daguerreotype or ambrotype of the 1840s and 1850s. The CDV photograph belongs to the group known as card photographs because the albumen print (a mixture of egg whites, sodium chloride, and silver nitrate) was mounted on paper cards.
The usual size of a cdv is 2 1/4" x 4 1/4". The photographer often printed, stamped, or embossed his name and town on the back of the card, below the image, although, by no means always did.
Some examples of carte de visite / CDV prints from our collection.
Copyright Somerset Photography 2009