The photographs are of an infant and a young child--maybe the same child 5-10 years later--in some kind of period finery. After being amazed for a day or so, I took the photos to the Georgia State University library's archivist for a little help dating them.
The first photo, the baby, is actually a tintype. Tintypes were popular between 1858-1890, but some people still used them as late as the 1910s. I still need to do more research to determine the actual age of the image based on the clothing of the child here and in the second image.
The second photo is called a cartes de visite, which was often taken in a series of eight images. When I look at this series, I do think some are missing. This might explain that. However, that means the images are probably between 1850-1900.
What this tells me is that the dresser is closer to 150 years old than 80 years old. AND WE GOT IT FOR FREE. I intend to find out any information our friend--who graciously gave it to us--has on it. We've moved it into the downstairs hallway, the entrance way basically, to help add to the feeling of age in our home.
Between the dresser, the photos, the sconces, the dining table, my book collection, and the actual house, our space is really starting to feel like layers and layers of history. I just can't believe it. I always wanted to be a part of a narrative that spans beyond the 20th century, and now I feel like I'm on my way.
x-posted to myhappyhome