Victorian Photo Album with Beautiful Old Photographs

Welcome to the 33rd Metamorphosis Monday!

My Met Monday post for today is a “reverse” Met Monday. I’m showing you the “After” first…then I’ll show you the “Before.”

I came across this old, old Victorian style picture album around 20 years ago. I believe it may date back to the late 1800’s. If you have any information about these type albums, please share it in your comment. I’d love to know more about them but have found very little information online.

When I found this wonderful old velvet covered album, I fell in love with it. It was in a run down, old house that sat just barely off the road of a busy Georgia state highway…waaay out in the country. I had just completed an appointment for work and was headed back to the “big city,” when the “Antiques for Sale” sign caught my eye as I whizzed by in my car. Not being able to resist, I turned around and headed back.

The man inside the old house made me a great deal, only $40. I was thrilled since it was chocked full of wonderful old photos. When I’d stumbled on these albums in the past, they were usually more expensive and empty. I’ve since collected one more and I do so love to look through them.

This album looks as if it may have been a wedding gift for a newly married couple. The front shows a bell with a small mirror (maybe a wedding bell?) and a horse shoe with the words, “Good Luck.”

Here’s a little close-up pic of the top. Now you may be wondering where the “before and after” is in this post. Well, so far you’ve seen the after pics…the pics of what time and use will do to the exterior of a lovely, old, velvet, picture album. What if we could go back in time and see it when it was brand new.

Step into my time machine…and take a look at the before. The album opens up by unlatching the side and flipping the album downward onto a surface. There’s a much larger mirror inside. See the beautiful, green velvet…that’s what the whole album would have looked like when it was new…I’m guessing back in the 1800’s.

Close-up of the interior velvet that has been protected from the elements. Old houses used to be very, very dusty inside. Windows were left open for cooling and the roads weren’t always paved. It was a full time job trying to keep the home swept and dusted.

Both of the old albums I’ve collected are full of wonderful, old photos. I will do a post sometime in the future showing lots of pics from both albums. I love seeing the dresses and hats…along with the hairstyles.

A few of the pics from this album…notice in the pic below, the man is sitting while the woman is standing.

Look at her hair, her gorgeous blouse and that tiny waist!

Again, in the pic below, the man is sitting while the woman is standing…wonder why? I’ve noticed it’s always this way in the pics depicting a couple. What do you think the occasion was for this photo? Maybe an anniversary…or do you think it was a wedding photo?

Do you like collecting the old photographs or albums? They are like little time capsules, giving us a glimpse of the past.

Looking forward to seeing your Before and After!

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Comments

  1. Debbie @ The Shabby Bungalow says:

    What an incredible album – can't believe the vibrancy of the colours that have been protected from the elements. Thanks for sharing that lovely piece of history Debbie x

  2. Dear Susan, Lovely post you have today!
    Just love your blog.
    God bless,
    d

  3. Joan@anythinsggoeshere says:

    I love the decoration that is around the pictures on these albums. I wish such pretty things were made now.

  4. I am a genealogy researcher and do family trees. I am always telling people to label their photos so they don't end up (nothing personal) in someone else's family. People are more willing to get rid of photos of people if they don't have a clue who they are.
    Is there anything written in the album or on the backs of the pictures? The photographers mark is probably there somewhere.
    Boy her corset must have been tight. The man probably sat because she was taller than him. Plus they were the heads of the households and ever so important.
    How beautiful it must have been in it's glory. It is still beautiful. At least it has a good home now and wasn't thrown away.

  5. The Lazy Peacock says:

    that album is stunning. what a fantastic find.

  6. Julia @ Hooked on Houses says:

    Oh, wow, I just love stuff like this. I gasped when I saw how beautiful and green it was on the inside! I had a friend who bought an old photo album from an antique store and we had so much fun looking through it.

    I can't believe how skinny that woman's waist was! Maybe the women stand because their corsets are too tight to let them sit down? Looks like it would be hard to breathe!

  7. Hi Susan,
    It was kind of you to give someone else's ancestors a place of honor in your beautiful home. It was fascinating to see how time had altered the exterior of the album.

    Fascinating post! Thanks for sharing this vintage treasure with us today.

    Bill

  8. Lisa Shatzer says:

    Maybe the women stood in the photos to show off their pretty dresses?!

  9. That is an extrodinary find! I think the woman stood because their corsets were so tight they could not bend in the middle to sit down :0)

    Sherrie

  10. Jenny @ Words on Wendhurst says:

    So funny, we were just looking at pictures of my great grandparents and other family members today, all in that old style!

  11. Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria says:

    Oh Susan now girl you know you got my attention with this photo album…Now Girl I have 11 of them..I have one that even plays music and another one that opens up and has an ink well and writing pen in it and a place to put post cards in the back…Maybe one one I'll share the ones I have…I started collecting these in 1980 even has a couple with all tins type pictures in it…Great Met girl…May you have a GREAT week girl…Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  12. I gasped when I saw the green fabric too! How breathtaking!

    You were smart for showing the pictures in the order that you did them in.

    I agree the others, I was thinking women had to stand because it was uncomfortable sitting in hoops and corsets, plus they wanted show the dresses off.

  13. blushing rose says:

    Awesome photos & album. What a treasure!
    Have a beautiful weekend. TTFN ~ Marydon

  14. What a beautiful album. The pictures are just wonderful. I love seeing them. Such a treasure. Hugs, Marty

  15. Incredible find. Looking at her tiny waist I can only think one thought; constipation.

  16. O,what a treasure. Just awesome!

  17. Nouveau Stitch says:

    Seeing such a beautiful album makes me feel so guilty about not properly labeling and caring for our old photos…not the really old ones (I don't have any of those), but the current old ones. The ones from when the kids were little. Thanks for prompting me to get serious about organizing them!

    I'm joining Metamorphosis Monday for the first time! Excited to be a part, thank you so much for hostessing.

    Ellen

  18. Susan,
    What a wonderful post, something to treasure and look at for years to come. I don't have any Victorian albums, although I do have quiet a few family photes. Thanks for showing your wonderful find.
    Sandy

  19. abeachcottage says:

    such a fabulous treasure, love these sorta things

    Sarah

    p.s. thanks for hosting x

  20. Blue Creek Home says:

    I hope you get some information about these old photo albums. I know absolutely nothing about them, except they are very special. The fabric is amazing – then and now.
    Rhonda

  21. prof en retraite says:

    What a beautiful old photo album, Susan! I do have some old photos of my family. My elderly aunt collects old photos..of strangers! lol We keep telling her to keep them separate so we won't find ourselves wondering who in the world these people are someday! lol Happy week!…Debbie

  22. That album is the neatest thing. It is amazing the difference in color from the outside to the inside. My mother has two very old albums, one of them similar to the one that you have shown. I will have to photograph them because they are really pretty and interesting, too.

    The waists on those ladies look downright painful. I would be so sick if someone cinched me in like that. Poor things!

  23. Pam @ This Humble House says:

    That's so neat! What a precious peak into history! I've never seen an album like that!

    ~ Pam

  24. Suzanne in TX says:

    Susan–thank you for hostessing such a fun event again–33–wow! The album is so extraordinary! I, too, love old photographs and would love to see more of your collection. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Have a great week, S in TX

  25. Aprons Gone Wild says:

    I love your pictures and enjoy "visiting your home" so very much.
    Joanne

  26. Abandoned photo albums make me a little sad. I am glad you are the one who has it so the pictures will be treasured! Now, the reason her waist is so small is from holding up all that hair and because her husband is always sitting :)–No wonder they are never smiling! 🙂

  27. Oh, I just love that album. I have always been intrigued with old photos. I could stare at them for hours and imagine what life was like back then. The pictures give us clues to the past.
    I know you treasure this keepsake.
    Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Thanks,
    Traci
    p.s. stop by and check out my giveaway. 🙂

  28. Just as pretty in pictures as it was in person…a real treasure, especially all the old pictures…

  29. Susan, what a wonderful find and wonderful that you rescued this album full of old photos. Otherwise it might have been tossed aside and never appreciated again. I can just imagine how this album was loved and cherished through the years by its original owner, perhaps someone who is in the photos. How special that someone who truly appreciates it now is its keeper. Lovely post, as always.
    Thanks for sharing. ~ Sarah @ Hyacinths

  30. Christi @ A Southern Life says:

    Wonderful pics. I have some old pics from my MIL that date back to the late 1800's and early 1900's that I love.

    When my husband and I married, we went to a studio in Eureka Springs, AR (where we were married) and had a victorian photo taken. The photographer told us to look pleasant but not to openly smile because they did not do that back in the day. Looking at your pics (as well as my own) that seems to be the case. Interesting!

    Christi

  31. Morning T says:

    I've never seen anything like that album- what a treasure!
    Thanks for hosting and Happy Monday!

  32. Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) says:

    What a beautiful album. I've only seen them on line to have one in person would certainly be a treasure. Great post..hugs ~lynne~

  33. St. Michael's Wife says:

    Women had to stand because they couldn't sit with their waists cinched so tightly! Ouch!

    Grins!
    Pamm

  34. Hi Susan,

    What a lovely find, truly a keepsake to treasure.

    My goodness I'm now wondering who she was and if I were to walk a day in her shoes what must have it been like. Thanks for hosting another great party.

    Blessings – Debbie

  35. What a beautiful album…I've never seen anything like that, how lucky for you to have found it…
    Have a great week
    xoxo
    Julie

  36. The Old Painted Cottage says:

    I'm pretty new to Mr. Linky. So much so, I accidentally enlisted myself twice! Please delete #54 for me. Thanks!

    oxox
    Jennifer

  37. What an absolutely gorgeous find. I have never seen anything so wonderfully Victorian. Thanks for sharing this jewel with us all.
    And thanks for being such a gracious hostess every Monday. 😉

  38. The DIY Show Off says:

    I really enjoy looking at those old photos too. I did have an old Victorian album that I purchased at an auction but I haven't seen it in forever. 🙁 I think it got lost in a move. Thanks for sharing yours!

    Roeshel

  39. I absolutely love that album. I have three old victorian photo albums but NOTHING as ornate and beautiful as the one you pictured. And the fact that it had pictures in it was an extra bonus! I have an affinity for cabinet cards and have quite a collection of family members as well as "adopted" family members. I have purchased some with names on the back and a couple of times have been successful in finding family members (thanks to persistance and ancestry.com)who were thrilled to have them. Thanks for sharing that gorgeous album.

  40. ImagineCozy says:

    I have never seen an album like that before. It definatly has a victorian feel. The green was really a surprise!

    Thank you for hosting.
    -Angela

  41. Susan, what a wonderful post and you're right, the After really IS an after! The green velvet is beautiful. I'm a collector of antique frames to display my ancestor's photos in. It's so nice that you enjoy the vintage photos. Thanks for hosting. Jane T.

  42. Marianne@Songbirdisnesting says:

    As a lover of all things vintage I am drooling over your album. So many great pictures and all of those pages with borders that show the pictures of. What a nice find. And you have two of those! Wow. Good for you!

  43. Susan, Beautiful album and I love the old pictures. I am going to be anxious to see what you do with the old pictures.

    Barbara

  44. inner_child says:

    What a gorgeous album! I, too am a genealogist. Even then, I forget to label all my pictures! Working on it though!

  45. What a beautiful album – don't you just love to look at them and wonder what times were like then?

    ~TidyMom

  46. Susan,
    That album is realy beautiful! I have never seen an album like this!

    Greet

  47. Alison Gibbs says:

    So beautiful and full of someones memories – how could they let it go!!
    Alison

  48. Kristin@Boulevard Interior Design says:

    I love old pictures and have many of my family members. I have wedding pictures of parents, grandparents, and even a couple great grandparents. I especially love those.

  49. ~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ says:

    Susan~ ~Do you think the young couple looks like twins? To me they look to be 14 or 15 years old and very much alike. I love looking at the fashion in old photos but It always looks like they were never happy.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  50. Its So Very Cheri says:

    Hey Susan
    Thanks for signing up to follow me. I did a post yesterday about all kinds of problems I was having with google/follower and I am going to do a follow up on what I had to do to fix it. I think it is something google did in an update that only changed everyone who signed up after the changes. Your account is one of those that I can not access from my dashboard follower area. You should go read it-you may have followers with the same problem. It is just crazy that they wouldn't have the programmers fix that when they wrote the new program.
    I think there are a lot of people who probably have no idea people can't click and get to them.
    Cheri

  51. Anonymous says:

    I have one and the cover is celluoid. It is in moderate condition, the latch is broken but the rest is in good condition, especially where the photos slip in, hardly any tearing. They are more valuable with the photos and can run from under $100 to many hundreds, depending on condition. I paid $10.00 for mine at GW Boutique many years ago. Some information can be found at Antiques off Broadway – Google. Jackie "a huge fan"

  52. Jane (Frugal Fine Living) says:

    Susan, that photo album is amazing! It makes me wonder about the people in the pictures. I wonder who they were and what their lives were like. It would be fun to know more information about them. I also wonder why the men sat and the women stood in photographs back in those days.

    Great post!

    Jane

  53. ~Country Lady~ says:

    Susan, what a lovely old photo album. To have pictures in it is an added treat. I have a couple of these old albums. I need to dig them out. One has a fabulous purple velvet fabric on it. They were gifts from my MIL who owned an antique shop in Charleston, SC for many years.

    It was a true delight to see yours! Thank you once again for hosting this Metamorphosis Monday. Have a wonderful week.

  54. Cindy (Applestone Cottage) says:

    Hi Susan,
    The old album is wonderful, I love when you opened it to show us the look it originally had! Can you imagine finding one that all still looked like that! I received the book today from your give-away! I am so thrilled! What a beautiful book , I've just started reading it and it's awesome!! Thank-you again for the beautiful book, I just love it!!! Hugs, Cindy

  55. Glenda/MidSouth says:

    What a paretty album. Wonder if it was exposed to the sun for long periods of time and bleached out the color?

  56. black eyed susans kitchen says:

    Susan, That is a gorgeous album. There is nothing like bringing us back to a time long ago by looking in a book like this. The pictures are precious and treasured…just wonderful.
    ♥, Susan

  57. I just love old photos. Isn't it amazing that they captured something that still intrigues us today, and they often only had one shot at doing it? I must take dozens on my camera, pick my favorite, and delete the rest. I'm trying harder to frame things nicely and get it right on the first shot, as though I only had one chance. What an amazing find!

  58. Fifi Flowers says:

    LOVE all the old photos!

  59. Isn't it interesting that the horse shoe on the front of the album is upsidedown? I always thought horse shoes were display w/the opening at the top so all the luck wouldn't run out.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Lorie

  60. What an absolutely LOVELY find! Very beautiful and truly unique.
    I think the horseshoe is the other way so you get to KEEP all the luck! :o) Toni

  61. What a terrific find and treasure! It's like stepping back in time…. into Anne Shurley's world (Anne of Green Gables).

    Love 'em. Thanks for sharing.

  62. That's an interesting find, Susan, especially to see all the old photos.

    Yes, those are verrry tiny waists! The women really don't look that tiny though. I think they used to cinch them in. Much easier! but I bet it wasn't too comfortable.

    Thanks for telling the before and after story of your antique find.

  63. That's an amazing photo album, I love how you can see what it was originally like too.

  64. I have been a fan of your Metamorphosis Monday for a while now, but this is the first time I have participated. Love your blog!

  65. Susan, did the man you purchased this from mention where he had got it or if he knew any people in the photos inside? If he got it locally, maybe you could take the photos to the genealogy society in your county and sometimes they post the pictures in their newsletters on in their meetings in case somebody can recognize the people in the photos.

  66. Sometimes these photos were taken on the couple's wedding day and sometimes the ladies had those corsets pulled tight to hide a surprize pregnancy!

  67. Hello again Susan! Just had to get back to my fav's on my own computer after traveling for a while! The picture showing the woman standing next to her beau appears to be a wedding photo, as I have seen one of my grandparents wedding photos and it looks almost identical as to the dress and corsage, etc. Lovely album, but that corset idea had to be a total pain….. Hope you had a nice August, and I will spend the next week catching up on the blogs as time permits. Hugs, Jan

  68. Cass @ That Old House says:

    OK, I admit that sometimes I miss a light girdle . . . they did keep things from wandering around under your clothes — but a corset? OUCH!

    I can hardly believe that "before" of the velvet covering. Amazing what time, sun, atmosphere will do to fabrics. Lovely old album. I wonder who they were?

    Cass

  69. Room Service ~ Decorating 101 says:

    Like you susan, I would love this. I love wedding pictures the best. I could care less if I know who it is or not, but love the pictures of the brides, knowing how happy and how pretty they are feeling at that moment. thanks for sharing and for helping me yesterday.

  70. Rebecca @ Belle Blog says:

    Hi there, I agree that they probably had trouble sitting in those tight corsets, however it seems that the men sitting was more of a status thing. To show they are the man of the house, like a king sittin gin his throne. The woman standing to the right of the man.
    The album and the photos are all lovely. I love that gorgeous green velvet.
    ♥ Rebecca

  71. Lady Katherine says:

    Wow, Susan I have never seen anything like this. I love it!

  72. Susan, Yes, these albums are so treasured and I read as much as I can about this time period. Not much has been documented but if you come across a book written by Starr Ockenga, she comes the closest to this type of albums. Her work is mostly on the friendship of women back in that time period. Excellent book.

  73. Susan…I absolutely love your blog. I've been living there for awhile now! Thanks for sharing.

  74. I came across your your site about your Victorian album it is nice to find album that is still together. I collect these albums like this one and different types.

  75. Maureen Decker says:

    Hello and nice to meet you! I have a Antique Photo Album that also is a music box that still works! However I am sure it needs a good cleaning. My question to you is do you know anyone who restores the beautiful works of art? Something along the lines of page restoration,velvet replacement and more… Or perhaps you can recommend a book on this type of restoration. I myself have been restoring Porcelain,Figurines,Ceramics, Pottery and Fine Object D’Art for 30 years. Any information you can help me with would be much appreciated. Kind regards Maureen Decker

    • Hi Maureen,
      Nice to meet you, too. Unfortunately, I don’t know of anyone who does that type of work. Also, I was wondering if it would hurt the value of the old albums if they were restored?

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