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Duh, Cabinet Cards: "A photographic print measuring 4" by 5 1/2" attached to a cardboard mount 4 1/4" by 6 1/2". Popularized by Windsor & Bridge (Britain). This definition is from "Collector\'s Guide to Early Photographs" by O. Henry Mace. Mr. Mace adds that the
cabinet card was introduced in 1863, peaked in the years 1870 to 1900, and begin to wane in 1905. The cards were last made in the 1920\'s.
No other size qualifies as a cabinet card. Other sizes have different names: "Boudoir" and "Imperial" are two that I am aware of.
If a card appears to be a genuine cabinet card, but has been cut down or damaged, it still qualifies. Cards were often cut to fit in albums.
CDVs are NOT cabinet cards. CDVs measure 2 1/2"by 3 1/2" and are mounted on 1/2" by 4" stock. Start your own CDV group if you like those usually worthless little boogers (lighten up; it's a joke).
Here is the definition from The Oxford
Companion to the Photograph: "format introduced in 1866 as the craze for the carte de viste was slackening, although it was not until the 1890s that cabinet prints outnumbered cartes. The size of the print (predominately albumen, sometimes carbon) was usually c. 102 x 140 mm (4 x 5 1/2 in), and was pasted on a piece of card c. 114 x 165 mm (4 1/2 x 6 1/2 in). As with the carte, the studio's name often appeared on the bottom front edge of the card, or on the back, sometimes with a negative number. The style of text and design often gives clues for dating. The format rapidly became internationally accepted, albums were produced to fit it, and countless millions of images were created, mostly portraits. It continued into the 1900s."
I'm not going to insist on the rectangular nature of the image itself, but I personally believe that oval or round-shaped images are not cabinet photos, merely because they are mounted on cabinet stock. I will continue to look for a definitive definition.

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