** American cabinet cards special finishes Extra Finishes

Classic American Cabinet Cards Special Finishes: Extra Finish

 Extra Finish

Figure 1.--Here we seed a cabinet card marked 'Extra Funish'. It looks like the Ivoryette photo printining techniqe pionered by EdwaRd Dana in New York City about 1890. Not only does it have the whitish look, but the background lighting affect pioneered by Danna. We believe it was called Extra Finish because the studion might have had to pay a royalty if they had identified it as an Ivoryette. The photographer is G.M. Hoffman in Le Roy, New York. Le Roy is located in western New York state.

Quite a number of American cabinet cards during thev1890s were marked 'Extra Finish'. We do not know what 'Extra Finish' meant. We think it might just be a little adverising hyperbole meant to give an idea of high quality, better than that of other photographic studios. We do not know of any extra steps differing from the stnandard albumen process. Perhaps readers will kmow more about this than we do. We note a collection of these cards, almost enbtirely from the 1890s, but one card from 1887. All have whitish mounts. A cabimet card exper tells us, "While the effect was real, the Extra and Superior were marketing gimmicks of the time. They were no different than business today. These were special papers that when burnished (run through a roller press), a 'shiney' look appeared. Not exactly what we would call glossy, but close. Extra and Superior were just from different companies. Mainly seeing these terms on a card is a good way to date them within a range of years." [Phototree] We note some 'Extra Finish' cards that are just like Edward Dana's 'Ivoryettes'. The timeline strongly suggests that this was an effort to use Dana's tchniques without paying any fee to him.


Phototree, Gary. Personal communications (September 9, 2019). Gary has a fascinating website about cabinent vards, including a page on Extra Finish.


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Created: 3:39 PM 1/21/2021
Last updated: 3:39 PM 1/21/2021