Berger, Charles F - portrait of a man

This miniature is signed on the reverse by C F Berger and dated 1842. Charles F Berger was active in Philadelphia between 1841 and 1880.

It seems likely he is the Charles F Berger listed in the 1860 census for Ward 14 in Philadelphia. Here he stated he was an artist, aged 49 and born in Hamburg. He disclosed real estate assets of $4000 and personal assets of $800 and was living with his wife Mary aged 37 and four children, Anna J 18, Mary E 16, Charles T 14, and Clara A 11. As his wife and children were all born in Pennsylvania, he must have arrived in the United States not later than around 1840.

In the 1850 census, he had stated he was a painter but gave an age of 37, so he must have been born around 1812. There was a servant living with the family in 1850, but not in 1860, which is perhaps a sign that the advent of photography had impacted on his income.

In the 1870 census, the enumerator did not complete the personal particulars for Charles, Mary, and Clara, but they did still seem to be living in their own home. However, by the 1880 census, Charles 69, Mary 60, and Clara 30, were living together as boarders in a boarding house with a number of other families. Charles gave his occupation as portrait artist, but it seems the family was even less well off.

The sitter is unknown. 486

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