I have mentioned before that the Welsh Album and it’s photographs are ‘grubby’; I like to think they have been well loved and that is the reason why. This carte-de-visite is no exception. It was taken by Dore & Co. (formerly Austen & Co., according to the information on the reverse), and the woman is identified on the album page as Maria.
Although I have not found any details of the photographic studio, various entries from the British Newspaper Archive provide a brief history of 232 Mare Street, Hackney. In 1869 it was listed in the rental columns, at a rate of £42 for 10 rooms. In 1880, there was a fire at the address, which fortunately was described as ‘very small’ but no other details were given. And in 1892 it was being used as a polling station for the County Council Elections. Sometimes it is worth searching for addresses as well as names, although none of this tells me who Maria is!