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Two photographs of a gentleman posed on a bicycle.

Circo Agenale, Rome: Fotografia Giovannola, 1890 Stock Code: 108154
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Two portrait photographs featuring a man in contemporary dress posed with an early bicycle taken at the studio of Gaspare Giovannola. It was not until the early 1860s that two-wheeled, pedal-powered bicycles were ridden for the first time. Despite the discomfort they caused (lending them the nickname "bone-shakers"), they became immensely popular. "The 'velocipede mania' in the 1860s was followed in the 1890s by a so-called 'bicycle boom' or 'craze' in many parts of the western world as both product and instrument of the 'ride to modernity'" (Oosterhuis). In Italy in 1890 a bicycle such as that featured here would have been considered a luxury, the cheapest costing around 150-250 Lire, making these photos a show of both the subject's modernity and wealth (Pivato).

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Together two sepia-toned albumen print photographs mounted on card within gilt frames (photo 255 x 200 mm, mount 340 x 258 mm; and photo 260 x 198 mm, mount 340 x 285 mm). Studio stamp to foot of recto and verso of larger mount.


Foxing to mounts and faintly to photographs, slight wear to edges, especially of smaller mount, closed tear and slight loss to paper backing of smaller mount, slight soiling to versos, a couple of small punctures from pins to foot of mounts; in very good condition.


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