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The two most advertised card colors were primrose (pale yellow) and pearl (rich off-white) though light pink, blue, and green can be found.

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Artistic print means the typeface used is highly ornate cursive style.

The borders (lines or artwork on the card) and the manner in which the card edges were cut or treated are some of the best known clues to dating the cabinet card.

While the dark cards are not rare, they did not capture a large share of the marketplace, possibly because they were more expensive than standard colors.

Compared to primrose or pearl cards noted earlier which were $1.10 per hundred, maroon cards were $1.20 and black were $1.30 per hundred.

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Initially, cabinet cards were made from natural raw bristol board, both front and back.

But in the mid-1870s the backs were coated with soft off-white or even light pastel ink.

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