Apr 27, 2017 - Sale 2444

Sale 2444 - Lot 130

Price Realized: $ 3,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
(DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.) Craig, Annie F.; inventor. Unusual patent shadowbox photograph of the United States Capitol. Photograph printed on curved glass, 7 1/4 x 9 inches to sight, over a recessed albumen photograph of similar size; minimal wear to photographs. Mounted in original gilt frame, 13 x 15 inches and almost 4 inches deep, with moderate wear and original inscription on verso giving Craig's name, address, and patent date. Not examined out of frame. Washington, 27 May 1879

Additional Details

Annie Frances Twitchell Craig (1837-1918) was a native of Maine. She was described in the 1880 census as an artist. At the time when she patented this style of picture, she was married to a pension office clerk in Washington and raising three daughters. She was granted patent number 215,725 for her "method of mounting and exhibiting flat photographic or other pictures so as to give the appearance of relief, which consists in placing the desired picture upon a glass plate, and combining the same with a recessed frame or box in such manner as to have a space of considerable depth between the glass and the background, whereby the light falling upon the picture from any point will produce an outline or shadow of the same on the background" (Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, page 15:837). We have traced no other examples of her patent pictures. The present example, marked as it is with the patent date and the inventor's personal address, may well be a prototype; it may never have gone into commercial production. A handsome artifact from an early female inventor.