noun (plural cartes de visite pronounced same)historical
A small photographic portrait of a person, mounted on a piece of card.
- For the rich and famous, a carte de visite with a dignified photograph of its owner became a necessary social tool.
- The cabinet card uses the same method as the carte de visite but in a larger format, for display in a ‘cabinet’.
- By the 1860s, entrepreneurs were mass-producing cartes de visite - small photographic prints that originated as calling cards - of well-known figures.
Mid 19th century: French, 'visiting card'.
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