The CDV you see here, taken by Ateuer Classens of Bonn around 1880, is in incredible condition for its age – not a scratch, barely a speck of dirt, no spotting and not the least yellowing of the image or the card, even on the back, its pristine whiteness is startling and makes you realize what many photos looked like when they were new! The gold leaf on the card edges is flawless. I wish I knew how this photo was stored for 130 years.
The little maid is dressed in national costume and standing on a step meant to be a continuation of the painted backdrop. What eyes! A solemn little face of perfect symmetry. I am not adept at reading the old German handwriting but I think her last name was Christel.