Inscribed in period pencil at the top of the back of the card: “Zublia Aggolia, Circassian Lady”; and then along the right side: “H. M. Hill.” H. M. Hill was probably the collector who first bought the card. The printed stamp on reverse of card reads: “Moore Brothers, Opposite Court Square, Springfield, Mass.” This is probably the maker’s mark of Hiram Charles Moore and C. L. Moore. Hiram Moore began his career as an ambrotypist and daguerreotypist in Boston in 1858, moving to Springfield, MA in 1859.

Although no further information about Zublia Aggolia in particular has been found, the “Circassian Lady” was a type of performer that became very popular in circuses and sideshows, starting in the 1860s and continuing until around the turn of the century.

Based on the style of the carte de visite and the woman’s clothing, we can date this photograph to some time in the 1870s.

For further discussion, see the Interpretive Commentary page.

For a subsidiary exhibition of people whose bodies challeges the expectations of the period, please follow this link