The photographer may have been using up old card stock, or the cabinet card may have been a re-printed copy made many years after the original photo was taken.
Cabinet cards, popular in the late 1800s, are easy to recognize because they are mounted on cardstock, often with an imprint of the photographer and location just below the photo.
There are similiar card-type photographs, such as the smaller which was introduced in the 1850s, but if your old photo is about 4x6 in size then chances are it is a cabinet card.
A style of photograph first introduced in 1863 by Windsor & Bridge in London, the cabinet card is a photographic print mounted on card stock.
The Cabinet card got its name from its suitability for display in parlors -- especially in cabinets -- and was a popular medium for family portraits.
Description: A traditional cabinet card consists of a 4" X 5 1/2" photo mounted on 4 1/4" x 6 1/2" card stock.
This allows for an extra 1/2" to 1" of space at the bottom of the cabinet card where the name of the photographer or studio was typcially printed.
The mounting or case can provide many clues, the context the image was located in, the ownership history (or provenance) and even the dirt (or lack there-of) on the object's surface may yield clues.
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The cabinet card is similar to the smaller Dating a Cabinet Card: Details of a cabinet card, from the type of card stock to whether it had right-angled or rounded corners, can often help to determine the date of the photograph to within five years.
It is important to note, however, that these dating methods aren't always accurate.