In this charming and whimsical turn-of-the-nineteenth-century photograph, someone has posed a youngster to show off either the youngster, the numerous trophies on the wall, or perhaps both. Folks back then, as now, desired to display an accomplishment (the trophies) a prized possession (the rifle) or a loved one (guess who?). The advent of the photograph opened up a whole new world with which to do so and as the technological knowledge grew, they could create humorous scenes such as this one.
Duded up like Little Lord Fauntleroy, the young man totes a gun twice his size, a look of consternation on his face. Behind him, hanging from the wall (or much more likely, superimposed by the photo developer on it) are eight deer with much more complacent expressions on their visages. I’m only guessing, but I would think that this photo was shot in a local studio and that the studio owner, probably also the photographer, had a say in the layout and composition. The deer are not hung on someone’s den wall, three of the deer are almost ground level and most folks don’t install fir bough garlands on the den floor and walls. Hence our question above with the tongue-in-cheek reference to Photoshop.
The photograph is approx 6-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ and after all these many years, the image has “silvering”: a type of aging characterized by a shiny, silvery appearance, especially noticeable when held at an angle. The paper the photo is printed on is a thinish, light grey stock used at the time.
I would estimate the value of this photo at $10-$20.