PRUSSIA – CABINET PHOTOGRAPH – GENERAL
This is a cabinet photograph of Prussian (General) Generalfeldmarschall von Steinmetz (1796-1877) He served Prussia from the time of the Napoleonic wars (Where he won the 1813 Iron Cross 2nd Class as a young officer. He would go on to win the Orden Pour le Mérite in 1854. He served in the first Schleswig War and in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. He performed well and in the Franco-Prussian War he commanded one of three Prussian Wars. As was the case through much of his professional career he ran afoul of other officers both above him and below. He clashed with the Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm (Later Kaiser Friedrich III) and retired in 1871. He was granted the position of Generalfeldmarschall upon his retirement. He is seen here with a tunic heavilly bedecked with medals and breast stars. He is a very stern looking officer, just what you would expect of a Prussian General.
A cabinet photograph is essentially an oversized Carte de Viste (CdV) which were popular during the Victorian period as photo shops became more common. A cabinet photograph would often feature a royal, noble, or military personage.