This is a faded cabinet photo with "so so" edges, but the subject is fantastic! and a genuine Chinese photo from the Qing Dynasty is incredibly rare.
This one, circa 1880-1900, shows 2 Chinese ladies in silk outfits, standing in front of a piece of bamboo furniture with a green plant at the bottom, and what is probably painted foliage on top.
The focus of the photograph seems to be their hands, as they have these incredible nail extensions of the time, usually cloisonne pieces worn on the ring finger, and a sign of aristocracy.
The photographer has placed the ladies artistically: one in dark to the left (but with light accessories for the contrast) the other in white to the right.
And so their long nails become very visible, he has made them both hold the bamboo shelf in the center so as to reveal their hands symmetrically.
No doubt this photograph was carefully conceived in the cabinet before it was shot!
The ladies who are thin and petite, with delicate features, also have bound feet, but they mostly disappear under their long silk pajamas. They would show better if they were sitting, but you still can see them.
Besides their very chic nail extensions, the lady to the left also has a big watch hanging at the front of her outfit, no doubt another sign of social status.
A small treasure to keep preciously as it is unlikely it will lose any value with time.
CONDITION: The piece has several splits on the right side, where a small part was reattached with tape at the back, and a split on the left. (Please see pics) The photograph is glued to a piece of antique cardboard, which I would rate as "fatigued"!.
MEASUREMENTS: Length: 5 3/4". Width: 4".
Will be shipped Expedited from Paris including insurance and signature at delivery.