Centuries Old Photographs Show Our Immortal Love of Dogs
A fascinating collection of antique daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, and carte de visites has been put together showing dogs and their owners from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Antique dealer Anthony Cavo has amassed an enormous catalog of old photographs and put them together for a new book Love Immortal.
The photos were taken from approximately 1840 to 1930 and offer a wide display of both candid and formal studio poses.
Cavo’s passion for collecting old photographs spans more than 50 years. Growing up, he traversed the neighborhoods of New York with his red wagon in search of antiques he could sell, only to spend that money purchasing more photographs.
Cavo tells the Washington Post about the moment he fell in love with them on one of his family’s antiquing trips to Pennsylvania to visit “Ann, the Duck Lady’s” shop.
“One day in 1963, among the piles of horsehair-stuffed Victorian chairs, marble-topped furniture, pier mirrors, and primitive furniture, I found a wooden box, its exterior stenciled in black: ‘From G. Cramer Dry Plate Co., St. Louis, MO,’” he explains.
“I moved the box to a hazy patch of sunlight that entered the barn through a dirty, cracked window alive with fluttering cobwebs and opened it to find hundreds of people dressed like the people in my school history books. Some of the men looked like Abraham Lincoln, and all the women wore big gowns,” he says.
“By the time I finished digging through the box and examining every image, I was hooked, a photoholic; I had to have them. I wanted them all, but, as a kid, I had only enough money to buy a few. I carefully selected and paid for my photos, then went out to the barnyard to examine them in full sunlight.”
Cavo says that his fascination with old images was encouraged by his parents who started buying him boxes of photos for him to pour over.
“My parents surprised me with the wooden box and its mysterious contents. I spread the photos out on our dining room table and began to examine each one with a magnifying glass, calling out to my parents and siblings each time I found something interesting,” he says.
“Finally, my older sister, who was the self-appointed spokesperson for us six children, seemed to sum up my siblings’ disinterest by asking, ‘Why are you collecting dead people, why can’t you collect baseball cards like a normal kid?’”
The book features over 200 photographs and contains heartwarming stories about some of the dogs that are pictured.
Love Immortal is available for purchase now and is published by Harper Collins.