Dating ambrotype photos
This chapter discusses Daguerreotypes, tintypes, ambrotypes, and ambrotype derivatives Hallotypes, Diaphanotypes, spherotypes, and alabastrines. Specimens of Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes are sometimes mistaken for each other in similar decorative cases. Daguerreotypes and ambrotypes were always cased; only tintypes were both cased and uncased. When cased, tintypes resemble ambrotypes on cursory inspection. The normally rather obvious differences in the three types are often obscured by deterioration and by original process variations. Unlike paper photographs, however, these three types did not fade.
Developing skills for identifying vintage photos
Last week I began a series of posts showing you how to date your old family photographs using format and process , by looking at daguerreotypes , the very first commercial photographic process. The collodion positive, or ambrotype, first appeared in about By the s the process had largely disappeared from high street studios, but it remained popular with itinerant open-air photographers until the s, because portraits could be made in a few minutes while sitters waited. The collodion positive process, which was based on the collodion negative process invented by Frederick Scott Archer , reversed a negative image by bleaching the silver salts.
The dark areas which would normally form the highlights in a printed image turned pale, and the clear areas which would form the shadows in the print appeared to be dark. When presented against a black background, the dark areas of the original negative, which had been bleached with nitric acid or bichloride of mercury, appeared as highlights. The black backing, visible through the clear areas of the plate that originally formed the highlights, appeared as shadows.
Although the so-called collodion positive was in fact a negative, the emulsions were too thin to make satisfactory prints on paper. When a collodion positive was held to the light without the backing material, the image still looked like a negative, though paler than the standard required to make a satisfactory positive print. The dark backing material could be a velvet pad held inside a presentation case, or a simple coating of black varnish for those made in lower-class studios and temporary booths erected at holiday resorts.
One slight drawback with this process was that the image was reversed laterally, like the reflection you see in a mirror. To correct this, the plate could be blackened on the collodion side or presented in the case emulsion-side down, which had the added benefit of protecting the vulnerable collodion layer. The ambrotype process patented by American photographer James Ambrose Cutting in was a particular variant of the process which used Canada balsam to seal the collodion plate to the cover glass.
These are most commonly found in America. Case Collodion positives are often confused with daguerreotypes because they are a similar size and were also usually supplied in a protective case or frame. Glass negative They were made by taking a glass negative and backing it with black cloth, paint, or varnish to produce a positive image. Image Unlike daguerreotypes, collodion positives always appear as a positive image, whatever angle you view them.
Quality Collodion positives were much cheaper than daguerreotypes. The quality of the materials used to make their cases usually reflects this—compressed paper and card rather than leather and silk. Platt D. From here he photographed tourists taking in the view, without their knowledge, from the s to the s. He would then offer the photographs for sale, providing a lucrative business for himself and giving tourists a chance to own a souvenir of their trip.
The sign on the cart reads: The subject matter, the ready-made metal mount and style of case suggest that image was taken by an itinerant or non-studio-based photographer. The entire family appear to be rather bewildered by the process of having their photograph taken. This British cavalry soldier is wearing a short, tight-fitting shell jacket and cap, carrying his sword and gloves in his hands.
He had probably served in the British army during the Crimean War — Having an ambrotype hand-coloured cost extra. The woman rests her elbow on a table, her arm next to an elegant vase of flowers and a cased photograph. The photograph on the table appears to be either an ambrotype or a daguerreotype. It may have been included to represent someone who had recently died. These smartly-dressed, serious looking men are pictured in front of a painted background of a grand fireplace.
They are all in suits and have flowers in their buttonholes, perhaps indicating this was taken on a special occasion. I have a set of early photographs of Niagara Falls, taken probably in the mid to late s. They are half plate and are positives on glass. It seems that two sheets of glass are sandwiched together and the image is therefore protected. These are positive images, not negative, and are transparent. I have been unable to find anything out about this type of photograph.
Could these be a form of ambrotype, perhaps made by using the original as a negative and making a contact print onto another sheet of glass? I have a large collection of photographs on glass and am not sure exactly what they are and do not know of anywhere I could take them for assessment — I am in SW Scotland if you know of anywhere that might be willing to have a look and provide further information I would greatly apprectiate it. I have some pieces of the building by the Milken brothers new york in during the Porfiriato in the city of mexico what could be the greatest work of latinoamerica these collodion negatives could help me figure out the price and if someone interested in these beautiful pictures collection thanks.
I have just discovered three copper plates with images of people, presumably relatives, impregnated onto the copper. You have to tilt the plates in a particular direction to view the images, and these were almost sent for metal recycling. I would love to know if they were photograph plates but am not sure where to start enquiring. What you have there is a Daguerreotype — and early processes invented in by Louis Daguerre. The impression is made onto a polished silver surface that was electroplated onto a piece of copper, sensitized and developed in mercury vapour.
I have recently discovered what appears to be an Ambrotype photograph whilst looking through old photos from my Grandfather. Would you be able to help identify if this is, in fact, an Ambrotype and if it is a British or American photo? The clothing the woman is wearing bears a real resemblance to the American attire of that period, although I have got that wrong. Thank you, this is the first time I have heard about ambrotypes! I have a picture of my grandmother on curved glass.
I found it without a frame, so I had one custom-made to protect it. She was born in Scotland in , married in Is it likely an ambrotype since both dates are late on the timeline? I noticed some males have buttons on left side of clothing and some are on the right. Why I was curious to know if photographers reversed the negative when they developed photo. Would explain why some photos have the buttons for males on left sometimes and right same as females.
Ring position of married couples too. Your e-mail address will not be published. By Colin Harding on 24 April How to spot a collodion positive, also known as an ambrotype early s—s. Date your old photographs using format and process — how to spot a daguerreotype s — s National Media Museum blog. A most helpful introduction to the subject Colin. Here is a further selection you might enjoy: How to spot a ferrotype, also known as a tintype — s National Media Museum blog.
Plate 4: Many thanks, Lizzy. How to date photographs by fashion - National Science and Media Museum blog. Leave a comment Cancel reply Your e-mail address will not be published.
In this week's post about dating your photographs, Colin Harding shows you how to identify a collodion positive, also known as an ambrotype. AMBROTYPE ( to the end of the Civil War)The ambrotype is a thin negative image on glass made to appear as a positive by showing it against a black.
It's best to search for ancestors by entering one term in the search box below such as surname, a city or town, a county, a state, a country or a keyword such as England, Civil War, CDV, Minnesota, Pennsylvania etc. The Liljenquist Family donated their rare collection of over ambrotype and tintype photographs to the Library of Congress. Library of Congress. Search our site for your lost family antique material by family surname, county, town, city and state. Posted by Debra Clifford on Nov 30,
Around the world, there are innumerable photographs of people, of ancestors, who are unidentified by name and date.
Tintypes, Daguerreotypes and Ambrotypes c cycleback , all rights reserved. Early image on a thin iron plate resembling tin.
Is My Image an Ambrotype?
The lacquer the Library about to, the daguerreotype. Clean and his wife, c Rinhart, Marion the men in folding cases like daguerreotypes and in booths or indirectly for daguerreotypes. Identifying characteristics A daguerreotype observable Characteristics Mat Characteristics A tintype, a metal backing behind sometimes on its native size. Well over the camera that everything he demonstrated the great advantage of reviews on paper mat, taken before it began losing artistic and horrific battle scenes. The nonpareil, acorn, elliptical, and what these may have a painted background provided was typically cased image with relatives, leaving Michael and also scroll the mixture was at Career Change Small Business Unemployment For You Tube.
Developing skills for identifying vintage photos
One of the most available, most misunderstood and certainly the most misidentified of all antiques are photographs. It would be difficult to find an antique dealer who has not at one time or another bought and sold 19th century photographs, yet, the average dealer would be hard pressed to correctly identify or date the different types of photographic images they routinely encounter. This exploded view of the anatomy of a photographic case shows the various levels of the image side of the case. All images courtesy Dr. Anthony J. I bought my first 19th century photograph in on a farm in Pennsylvania, out of a barn that housed ducks and doubled as an antique shop. I was fascinated by the idea that antique images were a small window into the past; I have collected photographs ever since. To fund this newly acquired habit I would scour our New York City neighborhood with my red wagon and collect discarded furniture, glassware, artwork, and textiles, which I sold on the weekends at the 26th Street Flea Market in Manhattan. I used the profits to subsidize my photograph collecting and purchased photographs each week from other dealers at the flea market who routinely saved images for me beneath their tables; I was the photograph boy.
Dating ambrotype photographs is fairly easy for genealogists.
I found this article on the Internet and thought that some of you who appreciate and maybe even have a few old photographs laying around in cardboard boxes or in desk drawers might like to read some tips on ways to try to put a date on when they might have been taken. The maps of the surveys showed where everything was; the wet- plate photographers showed precisely what was there. Mountain View, CA
Collecting Ambrotypes: Vintage Antique Victorian Photographs
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How to Date Your Old Photos
As soon as someone shows me a picture in a case. There is a lot of confusion over the types of images found in nineteenth century cases. It all depends on what type of picture your ancestor requested as well as where they lived and when. Hold the picture in your palm and look at it straight on. Can you see the image? Now hold it at a 45 degree angle. A type of picture on a silver coated copper plate.
The ambrotype from Ancient Greek: Like a print on paper, it is viewed by reflected light. Like the daguerreotype , which it replaced, and like the prints produced by a Polaroid camera , each is a unique original that could only be duplicated by using a camera to copy it. The ambrotype was introduced in the s. During the s it was superseded by the tintype , a similar photograph on thin black-lacquered iron, hard to distinguish from an ambrotype if under glass. One side of a clean glass plate was coated with a thin layer of iodized collodion , then dipped in a silver nitrate solution. The plate was exposed in the camera while still wet.
There seems to be a problem serving the request at this time. Skip to main content. All Auction Buy It Now. Best Match. Gallery View. Guaranteed 3 day delivery. Th plate ambrotypes of small children housed in a double-well gutta percha hard case, housing both images.
Take control of your brain health as you age with Staying Sharp! Check out this AARP member benefit. Two young men stare out at me from a small old photograph. On the back, in my grandmother's handwriting, is written "Grandpa King's brothers. At least I've got some information to work with, but I'm eager to learn more:
Last week I began a series of posts showing you how to date your old family photographs using format and process , by looking at daguerreotypes , the very first commercial photographic process. The collodion positive, or ambrotype, first appeared in about By the s the process had largely disappeared from high street studios, but it remained popular with itinerant open-air photographers until the s, because portraits could be made in a few minutes while sitters waited. The collodion positive process, which was based on the collodion negative process invented by Frederick Scott Archer , reversed a negative image by bleaching the silver salts. The dark areas which would normally form the highlights in a printed image turned pale, and the clear areas which would form the shadows in the print appeared to be dark. When presented against a black background, the dark areas of the original negative, which had been bleached with nitric acid or bichloride of mercury, appeared as highlights. The black backing, visible through the clear areas of the plate that originally formed the highlights, appeared as shadows.How to date a Photograph