Could these be more beautiful?


I bought a stack on these, all different sizes and from different studios, from the flea market in Milan.


Apparently, studios across Italy would glue the images on extra thick card stock (suitable for display but cheaper than framing?) and cover the back in grand self-promotuion.


These must’ve meant so much to the people that gave and received them.  They really make me dream AND make me want to figure out how to do these today!


I’ll be posting more of these over the next few weeks.





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  1. Caitlin

    March 17, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    This is called a carte de visite and was popular in many countries during the mid-nineteenth century.

  2. Jack M

    March 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    These are awesome. I hope this background paper was stained and roughed up to begin with.

  3. La Mode Bouclé

    March 17, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Interesting! This is HISTORY!

  4. Denisa

    March 17, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I really understand you, Is soo nice and I am waiting for more pics. xa

  5. Freya - Fashionable People

    March 17, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Gosh these are stunning, what a lucky find!

  6. andreea

    March 17, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    exactly what i had to say: raid flea markets for the widest selection! :)

  7. trish lopez

    March 17, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    vintage business cards. lovely.

  8. azure

    March 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I love vintage imagery. these are beautiful, what a great find. flea markets and thrift stores are really full of hidden treasures. can’t wait to see more.

  9. jsg

    March 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    I love them, too. My family has many and they were passed from generation to generation. As I understood my grandmother, they were some kind of a mixture between today’s business cards and facebook profile pics.

  10. minette

    March 17, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    AKA cabinet cards, or cartes de visite (CDV). i collect them, too. just found several from the Civil War era, and i love them! maybe you could make your business cards this way – they were left behind by callers.


  11. Sevan

    March 17, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    I love old programs, postcards, books and magazines that I could find on the Paris left bank when I lived there. I miss the “bouquinistes” a lot.

  12. Wayde

    March 17, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    This is ART! I absolutely love it and feel and obsession coming on too. Scott; this would be an amazing way for people to buy street style shots from you (and yes, please include the grand self promotion!)

  13. Carol Fisher

    March 17, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    A nice discovery, Scott. Vintage Italian graphic design is quite beautiful and inspiring as an art form. If you haven’t heard of her before, graphic designer Louise Filli ( has been very influenced by it throughout her career.

  14. andria

    March 17, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    As the first commenter noted, they were popular in many countries. I have a ton of them from my both parents’ families from Estonia, Germany, Poland, etc. from that time.

  15. Deeds

    March 17, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Would love to see your version. Have a personal collection of family carte de visite including one of my great grandmother in late Victorian dress and hat made from family tartan fabric.

  16. Sukie C

    March 18, 2014 at 2:21 am

    These were created in the U.S., too. I have some old family ones, but wish that acid free stock had been used for all because even B&W photos suffer over time when that is not done.

  17. Yohanna

    March 18, 2014 at 3:06 am

    I think it’s a wonderful way to represent some of your pictures…can’t wait to see what you will come up with!!
    y ❤️

  18. sandyy

    March 18, 2014 at 5:41 am

    So vintage, love it; like the Sepia color :)

  19. fifi

    March 18, 2014 at 5:59 am

    LOVE these photos! I collect random vintage photos too – Please Scott/Scott’s assistants – which Milano flea market was it? The Sunday Naviglio Grande monthly one, or is there somewhere else I need to know about?! xo

  20. Sophia

    March 18, 2014 at 6:04 am

  21. Elle

    March 18, 2014 at 6:17 am

    I love these pics/postcards too.
    Often I look my family album with many of these type of pics.

  22. Martine

    March 18, 2014 at 6:33 am

    I have never seen anything like that. They are cool. Love the guys beard. What were they used for? Like wallet photo?

  23. pinkschmink

    March 18, 2014 at 6:38 am

    I have found piles of these before in junk shops and flea markets, and I always want to take home stacks and stacks of them.

  24. Marine

    March 18, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Nice! An illustrator, friend of mine, is working on those cards.
    The result is quite nice, you can see some exemples here:

    Thank you for your inspiring work.

  25. Colette

    March 18, 2014 at 9:05 am

    In France it was most common, not only for business matters. I have some of my family. Easy to send or to put in a wallet in a time of travel or war.

  26. Maggie

    March 18, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Beautiful man and maybe duplicate this look in an Ecard.

  27. Lo

    March 18, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Love these! I have a weakness for tintypes (old or new… had the pleasure of being shot by The TinType Studio in Toronto) as well as stereoscope cards (they’d match nicely with your new collection!)

  28. Giulia

    March 18, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    I follow you from a while from Italy (sorry for my english!). I really like your work! I never post comment in the past but this time I had to! It’s really strange and fun to this photo because I’m actually from Spezia! This is a great memory of a ancient e somehow better time of this country :) If you’re interested, under the photo the phrases is “As sign of truly friendship” :)
    P.s. It’s kinda fun that the date, 29 november 1903, could be 29 november 2003 : ))

  29. MBATHA

    March 19, 2014 at 4:45 am

    e’ cosi carino………………………….mi piace!!!!!

  30. Hubert

    March 19, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Does the sentence before the signature say: “In segno di sincera amicizia”? (i.e. as a token of sincere friendship)

    • Giulia

      March 19, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      Si, anche io ci ho letto quello : )

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