Boer War Page 92z
Rare Boer War Discoveries
Below are some of the key items the Canadian Boer War Museum has added to its collections in its ongoing efforts to preserve important Canadian heritage memorabilia from this period.

Rare Great Boer War Discoveries (Feb. 2006)

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Anonymous Canadian Soldiers
Orig. postcard - Size - 3.5" x 5.5"
Found - Winnipeg, MB
Found recently at an auction, listed as:

"Unnamed Canadian Soldiers, WWI"

Like thousands of family photos thrown out at auctions this photo postcard had no names attached. These faces, so young, so exuberant, so proud, had lost their names, their identity to History

Did they survive the war, or were they among the fallen, their bodies mashed into the soil of France...

We will never know... or will we?

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Cab Card, Wilfrid Laurier
Topley c1880
Orig. CDV - Size - 11 x 17 cm
Found - Kirkland, PQ
By Topley, Ottawa ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
CDV, Ulysses S. Grant, c 1860
Orig. CDV - Size - 65 x 105 mm
Found - Kirkland, PQ
By C Seaver Jr, Boston
General Grant was Commander-in-Chief of the Union Army during the last part of the US Civil War (1861-1865). He later became an unsuccessful President of the United States, his office much used, for base personal advantage, by a host of hangers-on (1869-1877).

Is this Grant in his more carefree pre-Civil War years? The photo was taken in Boston probably c 1860.

Compare the hair location and swirls, the nose and nose shadow, the mouth line and upper lip, the deep set eyes, the broad forehead, the ear and ear shadow... And isn't that exactly how Grant used to sit?

Is this the young Wilfrid Laurier, just starting out on his political career. It's a Topley CDV, taken in Ottawa, ON in the late 1870s, of a man who certainly has a sense of self-assurance and poise. Topley would, of course, photograph Laurier as Prime Minister decades later.

Is this an early photo of Canada's greatest Prime Minister as a young man-in-waiting?

Compare: Obviously a man of letters, a visionary pose, no not a pose, the look is part of the man...

Anonymous Celebrities Found!!!

So many auctions these days feature photo albums and great piles of photographs thrown out by descendants to whom the "old folks" don't mean a thing anymore. "They's dead, ain't they now!"

By looking through hundreds, at sales, at auctions, or on ebay, you sometimes find rare treasures among the cards and photos that have no names or identification attached.

Such is the case for the CDVs (Cartes de Visite - French for photo card) which we feature on this page. None bore any particular ID, other than the name of the photographer, and his address.

Then begins the task of comparing with known portraits and seeing if you have found a match, and retrieved from the trash heap of history a valuable photo.

Read about the thrill of the chase that led to the identity of the other anonymous photos we uncovered on the right.

Still Among the Missing!!!

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Cabinet Card, Canadian Trooper, c 1900
Orig. Cab Card - Size - 11 x 17 cm
Found - Eugene, OR
Photographer Kelso, NB

The Anonymous Trooper

Can you help us identify this Canadian trooper photographed in Kelso, New Brunswick, probably on the eve of leaving to go on a tour of duty in South Africa.

Was he Canadian Mounted Rifles? Lord Strathconas? Canadian Scouts? or South African Constabulary?

Kelso must be a good clue. How many men - sergeants at that - came from Kelso, NB.

And the footwear is unusual, no strings on the front like the Strathconas had?

And whoever heard of Kelso, NB? It's imprinted as the town where the photographer was located...

Great Canadian Heritage Trash Sure
CDV Gabrielle Lavergne, c1900
Orig. Cab Card - Size - 11 x 17 cm
Found - Montreal, PQ
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
CDV, Emily Lavergne, c 1900
Orig. Cab Card - Size - 11 x 17 cm
Found - Montreal, PQ
Beware of Fakes!

It is a great thrill if you can find an autographed CDV of a celebrity - like one of the wife of Sir John A Macdonald, right.

But beware of hucksters trying to sell you a fake!

Left above is a CDV purported to be of Sir Wilfrid Laurier's illegitimate daughter, with Emily Lavergne, the wife of his law partner Joseph Lavergne. Note, he said, the strong resemblance between Gabrielle and Sir Wilfrid! So pomposited an ebay seller who specialized in historic photographs. Complete with signed autograph. Very nice!

But a fake!

Laurier did not have an illegitimate daughter, with Emily as this ebay huckster claimed... He had a son! Armand, or so it is said by those who claim to know such things.

Look at the close resemblance, they said. See, just like Laurier - and unlike his father - Armand has no moustache! And there was an undeniable something there! In truth Laurier was totally infatuated with Emilie from 1874 to 1897, when his duties as Prime Minister took him away from affairs of sorts, to affairs of state. He even appointed her husband to the Bench. That, said the cynics, was so he could keep an eye on him; he always knew where he was! Or was it gratitude, or guilt , or all of the above?

So Gabrielle's photo remains simply that, an autographed CDV of the daughter of a bad mom! Unlike her mom, she is an also-ran in History...

It is very nice to find an autographed CDV of Emily Lavergne herself, a most remarkable and cultured woman, seated on a chair, and wondering who will come through the door, Sir Wilfrid, or her husband Joseph!

A wonderful treasure, in immaculate condition, which she signed for someone special... I wonder...

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Lady Agnes Macdonald, Wife of Sir John A Macdonald
Orig. Cab Card - Size - 11 x 17 cm
Found - Grimsby, ON
Photo 1878, by Topley, Ottawa, Canada
Laurier, clockwise from the right: c1880, 1880, 1874, 1880, 1890.

General Ulysses S. Grant - c 1860

That Young Devil Wilfrid Laurier - c 1880

Back to Top
c Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996 & 2000