I'm very much indebted to Dr. Marieke de Natris, Documentalist of Portrait Photography from 1840-1920, who works in Collections and Research at The Hague's RKD Netherlands Institute for Art History. Dr. de Natris dated this carte-de-visite as being circa 1874-1878, quite possibly from the 1875 Leiden Masquerade, based on the gentleman's costume.
The subject of the photograph is dressed for the masquerade/ historical parade that took place every five years to celebrate Leiden University's anniversary. Leiden University is the oldest in the Netherlands, dating from the 1500s.
This 4 ⅛" x 2 ½" carte-de-visite does have some soiling issues as seen in the photographs. Nevertheless, it is a rare and important photo documenting Dutch history.
The photographer's name/company, de Lavieter & Co, is in the lower left hand corner, and La Haye (The Hague), the city where the studio is located, is in the lower right hand corner. Incidentally, The Hague is about ½ hour from Leiden.
The back of the card has the photographer's information written in ink (fountain pen). Willemstraat No. 2 is an address in Leiden.
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