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IMPERIAL SIZE CABINET CARD OF LOS PUEBLOS DE TAOS – ca. 1878 IMAGE BY BYRON H. GURNSEY RECORDED BY THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS:  A very collectable cabinet card in the desirable “Imperial” size, this ca. 1878 view of the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico captures the dwellings before they were altered by increased traffic and later additions.  Featuring the beehive ovens, cedar pole ladders and some of the occupants in their native finery, this image captured one of the most iconic views of the Navajo pueblos. 

The image bears a imprinted call out which describes the image, and states that the image was entered by an Act of Congress in 1878 in the Office of the Librarian of Congress.  This information would suggest that Congress and the Library were making a concerted effort to capture images of notable historic sites such as the pueblo, before they were over taken by change and the ever increasingly rapid expansion of the western frontier. 

Byron H. Gurnsey (1833-1880) is known to have been in Sioux City, Iowa from 1863-1873, is listed as having been in Pueblo, Colorado 1872-1875, and in Colorado Springs from 1872-1880.   The overlaps are obvious in this time line, possibly due to establishing the dates of his location on the dating of his images.  He was partnered with Bill Illingsworth in the 1860’s and then worked with Eugene Brandt in 1875.  Gurnsey is known for his views of key locations within the Rocky Mountains such as Pike’s Peak, the Garden of the Gods, and Monument Park, capturing for eternity the unspoiled vistas of the intermountain west.  

This cabinet card, measuring 9 3/8” by 7 ˝” is in excellent condition with no damage or fading to the image and the card is in full form with no damage to the edges.  A very special view of the Taos Pueblo, it would be interesting to obtain a current photograph taken from the same angle to compare the differences of almost 140 years.  (0208)  $750 



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