Carte de Visites
A. T. Osbourne - Photographer
Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England
c. 1869
This set of three late 1860s or very early 1870s vintage carte de visites
are a bit of a mystery. All thee depict the same man who appears to
have been a member of a Lincoln volunteer unit although exactly which
unit is uncertain. His uniform seems to make him out to be a private of
a light infantry unit as he sports a bugle device on his shako. No
number or other insignia of any sort is visible on his uniform. The cuff
braid pattern on his tunic seems to be that of a volunteer unit also.

In the two top photographs he is shown first kneeling as if preparing to
fire and secondly standing at ease with his Snider-Enfield Rifle cradled
in his arms. Under close magnification the rifle seems to be of the
Mark III variety since the hammer appears to have flat face as
opposed to the percussion-type hammer which were retained on the
earlier marks which were converted from Patten 1853 Enfield Rifled
Muskets. The Mark III models were all new built and not conversions.

The photograph at left shows the same man in civilian dress. His attire
looks to be of a rather fine quality - far to fine in fact for that of a
private solider of a regular battalion of the time period. This also leads
me to believe that he was one of the many affluent middle class men
who joined the volunteers out of a sense of civic duty and social
standing in his community.

This set of photographs actually consists of four images there being two
duplicates of the kneeling image in the set. It is somewhat remarkable
that all four images have remained together for some 150 years.