Specializing in postcards and antique photographs

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mary Dolly Allen Collins - Old Cabinet Photo

Someone wrote a fair amount of information about the woman in this picture.  I've edited the picture a bit for this post, but you can see the whole thing on our eBay store.  Just go to the store & do a search on Mary Dolly Allen.

This is an early cabinet photo, possibly as early as the 1850s, certainly no later than the 1860s.  Its always possible we could be mistaken about the date, but we're getting a lot of experience with these things, and that's what we believe.  It is not in great shape.  There is a lot of foxing - little spots you can especially see on the front, and someone has trimmed this up greatly, and unevenly.

On the front, written in pencil, is "Mary Dolly Allen, married Collins. "

On back, also in pencil is the following information: "Think this is great-grandmother Archambeault's mother when young.  Mary Dolly Allen, married a Collins, lived in VT.  Came to Utica on a farm.  Great-grandmother was Harriet Jane Collins."

I don't know when this information was written down, and there is always the possibility that it is wrong. It is a lot more information than we usually get on these pictures. We did a tiny bit of research and we believe Mary Dolly Allen Collins died in January 1886, but we didnt really take it much further. 

But this is the way she looked 150-160 years ago, when she was younger and stronger and her death was still in the distance. 

I wonder how many decades it has been since anyone said her name aloud or thought about her.  I'm sure she'd be extremely surprised to know that I somehow ended up with her picture.


  1. Makes me want to fire up Ancestry.com and see what else there is to see...

  2. don't you find it sad that no one cared enough to keep this photo? sad that some don't find their heritage important.

  3. I recently purchased this photograph and am very pleased to have it in my collection where it will be preserved. I'm also extremely pleased to have some information about the woman in the photograph. Part of the joy of my collection is finding out who the people in the photograhs are.