Carte-de-visite – Circa 1863

Carte-de-visite, (2.5 x 4 inches) – Circa 1863

In 1863, Jeremiah Gurney photographed operatic contralto Felicita Vestvali (1824 – 1880) in his New York studio. She made her U.S. debut in 1855, in Semiramide, an opera by Rossini at New York’s Metropolitan Theater. Here dressed for her role as Orsini, she specialized in contralto or trouser roles. The large Iroquois bag she is wearing has a single ovate floral motif on the flap and elongated leaf clusters on the body. Photographer: Jeremiah Gurney, New York City.