a victorian carte de visite of captain Matthew Webb, the first man to swim the English Channel.
Captain Matthew Webb (19 January 1848 – 24 July 1883) was an English seaman, swimmer and stuntman. He is the first recorded person to swim the English channel for sport without the use of artificial aids. In 1875, Webb swam from dover to calais in less than 22 hours. This made him one of the great victorian celebrities of the time, leading to a public demand for his daring stunts. unfortunately it was one of these acts of daring do that would be the cause of the end of his life. He died trying to swim the Niagara gorge below Niagara Falls a feat declared impossible.
carte de visite were small cards, the size of a formal visiting card about 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches (11.4 x 6.3 cm), with a black-and-white photograph attached, often of a celebrity. They were invented in 1854 by A.A.E. Disderi and were hugely popular in the 1860s and often collected in Victorian portrait albums. The backs of the cards were normally printed with the photographer's name, address and insignia.
the carte de visite is presented and protected in a simple glass and metal frame that can be wall hung or surface mounted.