Saturday, May 28, 2011

Another Photo Album

Do you remember when I blogged about my day at the Aberfoyle antique market two weeks ago (read it here), I mentioned that I picked up something fabulous for $50?  That something was this vintage photo album:

It has a celluloid* cover and a very worn fabric spine that might be corduroy or velvet.  It is a bit smaller than my other two albums, measuring 7.5 by 10 inches.

Having spent $10 for the first vintage photo album I got and $35 for the next one, you might be wondering why I would spend the generous sum of $50 for this rather shabby looking album.  Ha!  Here's my story:

There was a price tag of $85 on the back of the album. I asked the vendor how much he would take for it and he made a phone call to the owner, who said he wanted $65. I said that was a bit out of my price range (knowing I didn't have that much cash on me) but I'd think about it, and started to walk away. He called me back and asked me what I might pay for it. I lowballed it at $50 and he immediately said he'd sell it for that price, never mind what the owner said. I couldn't get my money out fast enough! I didn't want him to change his mind or open the album to look inside.

For this particular album, while rather damaged and not too glamourous looking on the outside, is actually filled chock full of photos and tin types!  Many of the photos are labelled on the page borders with family names.  Many seem to be members of the Kidd family and one of the photos even has a stamp on the back of H.G. Kidd, Photographer, East Angus, P.Q. (which stands for "Province of Quebec", for you out-of-towners).

Including one of this handsome young man (identified only as "Cousin"):

Having looked at tin types as I wandered about the antique show and found them priced at an average of $10 a piece, I figured I was getting a good deal for this album that contains about 25 photographs, many of which are cabinet cards (a style used for portraits dating from the 1870's, being thin photos mounted on cardboard) and eleven tin types.  I figure $50 was a bargain!

*You may be asking, what is celluloid? I know I was, so of course, I had to Google it.  Here's what it says on Wikipedia:  "Celluloid is the name of a class of compounds created from nitrocellulose and camphor, plus dyes and other agents. Generally regarded to be the first thermoplastic, it was first created as Parkesine in 1862 and as Xylonite in 1869, before being registered as Celluloid in 1870. Celluloid is easily molded and shaped, and it was first widely used as an ivory replacement. Celluloid is highly flammable and also easily decomposes, and is no longer widely used. Its most common uses today are intable tennis balls and guitar picks.  Celluloid was extremely useful for creating cheaper jewelry, jewelry boxes, hair accessories and many items that would earlier have been manufactured from ivory, horn or other expensive animal products. It was therefore often referred to as "Ivorine" or "French Ivory". It was also used for dressing table sets, dolls, picture frames, charms, hat pins, buttons, buckles, stringed instrument parts, accordions, cutlery handles and kitchen items. The main disadvantage the material had was that it was flammable and fragile. Items made in Celluloid are collectible today and increasingly rare in good condition. It was soon taken over by the more robust Bakelite and Catalin."  Now we know.


Laura Twiford said...

Cynthia, these are GORGEOUS! And what a bargain! I bought a celluloid album in Florida this past winter, ivory in color to use as a prop for jewelry picture taking. It had a small crack in the front so i got it for $10. but it had no pictures in it either! You lucky girl!

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

Very cool, Cyn!! I obviously need to take lessons from you on garage and antique sailing!! Of course, I have nowhere to put any more stuff, but that's beside the point. I'd just need to get rid of some things. Nah!!

heatherenroute said...

Hi Cynthia, this Kidd family is part of my family. My g grandmother's sister was married to the H.G.Kidd you reference.

Can you please email me to discuss further?

Many thanks, Heather

Irma Kidd Johnson said...

Hi Cynthia !!!! This album is of my direct ancestors ! I think I recognised my G gramma ... My grandpa was Thomas Kidd Henrys' brother.....would you have a clue who the person was selling this ? We have been trying to do family history and always get stuck on our gg grandfather.....