Lydia Elizabeth Cahoon 2

Frame #29: Lydia Elizabeth Cahoon

This crayon portrait of Lydia Elizabeth Cahoon is signed “Tanquerey, Brooklyn, N.Y.C.” A positive identification of the artist is difficult, although an ‘A. Tanquerey’ won a Medal of Merit in photographs and crayon portraits in 1890. However, Tanquerey is also associated with a crayon portrait scam. In a 1891 circular for the Tanquerey Portrait Society, signed by an ‘A. Tanquerey,’ a free crayon portrait is advertised. An interested party would send a photograph to be turned into a larger portrait free of charge.
The deal was too good to be true. After the photograph was sent, the customer would be sent a pamphlet advertising extravagant frames they would have to buy before receiving their original photograph and portrait. If the customer refused, they would receive neither. In 1893, the Tanquerey Portrait Society was banned from using the U.S. mail. A few years afterwards the scam was running in France and Australia, with warnings of the ‘swindle’ being printed in the newspaper.
It appears that Lydia was able to secure a quality portrait from Tanquerey. Maybe she decided the frame was worth the trouble, or Tanquerey had yet to turn his crayon portrait business into an international scam.
To learn more about Lydia, go to frame #17.

Posted in Cahoon, Portrait.