Very old photo on glass

CAframer

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Here are a couple of pictures of a very old photo that I have been asked to frame. You can see that the image is captured on glass. Actually it looks like the image is sandwiched between two sheets of glass. Can anyone point me to a source of information on this type of photograph. Has anyone framed one of these? Are there any special considerations for mounting, other than setting on a dark background? Appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.

IMG_0170.jpg


IMG_0169.jpg
 

stud d

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I am going to guess two things here. The first I think is incorrect. I would say a Dauguerre type. Pardon the spelling. The secon I think might be right. I am thinking a Wet-Collodion plate. Sally Mann had a show that she used this type of process that toured about about three years ago. I do believe I spelled the second correct, check that first.

If this is a glass type of negative/print then be very careful as to not put any strain on the edges. Maybe use Volara for some shock protection. And do remember not too many people know these processes anymore, or do them. So these just being rare could be worth-or atleast extremely difficult to replace.

Before I foget, what size are these, Daguerre types typically are wallet size-2x3 range. Where wet-plate Collodion are larger. Not all the time.


PL

[ 07-10-2006, 11:33 PM: Message edited by: Patrick Leeland ]
 

Ron Eggers

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Were Daguerreotypes typically life-size images?

Just teasing, Andrew, but a good maximum image size for Grumble posting is about 400x600 pixels. Yours are about twice that size.
 

Kit

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I enjoy trying to date old photographs by the clothing and hairstyles of the people in them. The best indication on this one is the shape of the young woman's large bishop sleeves, with upper arm fullness set under bretelles. This style is first mentioned in the fashion magazines in 1858.

The dress is probably silk taffeta and has the very wide lace collar popular throughout the 50's, but which was not worn in the next decade.

I can't tell whether the skirt is gathered or cartridge-pleated onto the bodice but it certainly worn over a hoop and several petticoats.

The woman's hair is done in the style of the late 50's, with broad side poofs (I would bet they are supported by switches of fake hair underneath)and a coiled bun low on the back of her head.

She looks very stylish, so I think the dress is a new one for the portrait, not one that is several years old. I'd put the date at 1858 or 59.

Andrew - if you know the date of the photograph, please tell me if I got close with my guess.

I would be very worried about the image fading from the glass. Is there any way to make a copy of the photo for framing so the customer could put the original in a dark place?

Kit
 

Lance E

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I would suggest that perhaps it is an Ambrotype, these require a dark base to see the image and are exposed onto a single glass plate often backed by another at a later step. This needed a long exposure time and there does seem to be a bit of motion blur in the image.

Someone mentioned having a shockproofing system in the frame, very good idea as these are likely extremely fragile by now and will likely seperate very easily also.

My thought would be a sink mat with pelon around the edges of the sink to help absorb any small shock. A dark mat behind the sink to make it visible.
 

AnneL

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I looked in my copy of Framing Photography, vol. 6 and based on the fact it is a glass plate and Kit's speculation as to the age of the photo it probably is an ambrotype. They were a variation on wet-collodian plate photos that was less expensive than having a daguerreotype done, allowing the middle class to afford photos. In the 1860s, the process of printing on paper became more wide spread and by the 1880s ambrotypes had fallen out of popularity. As an ambrotype, it is a one of a kind piece since there was no process at the time for making copies of them. Now, you could probably copy it (carefully) using a scanner. I know someone who is making copies that way of a large collection of glass plate negatives from our local historical society.

Normally, ambrotypes would have been displayed in a case with a piece of black fabric or a black paint on the back of them. This one must have been removed from it's case at some time. I can see the marks left by the corner holders.

Framing Photography suggests using smooth black rag board behind the image. Make sure the emulsion side is on the side opposite (away from) the board.
 

CAframer

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Were Daguerreotypes typically life-size images?

Just teasing, Andrew, but a good maximum image size for Grumble posting is about 400x600 pixels. Yours are about twice that size.
Thanks Ron for reminding me ... I've just got a new camera with different defaults and didn't think about it when I uploaded to the host site ... have changed the sizes on host site.
 

CAframer

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Andrew - if you know the date of the photograph, please tell me if I got close with my guess.
Kit ... when I next see the owner I'll ask if she knows the date ... she said it is her great-grandmother in the picture.
 

CAframer

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Before I foget, what size are these, Daguerre types typically are wallet size-2x3 range. Where wet-plate Collodion are larger. Not all the time.
Patrick ... it's 4" x 5.1/4"
 

CAframer

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Andrew - if you know the date of the photograph, please tell me if I got close with my guess.
Kit ... you were right on the date ... the customer just came in to review my framing recommendations ... apparently the woman in the photo was married in 1856, and the photo was taken a while after she was married, so this would put it into the 1858/9 timeframe that you suggested.
 

sjayne20

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Daguerreotypes were printed on metal and not glass. and they were typically only 2x3 however there are some exceptions to that. definately an ambrotype.
 

Val

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Nice Andrew! How did you end up mounting it?
 

Kit

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That's lovely! I like the wide black mat and gold frame. It gives the whole piece the look of a precious treasure in a jewelry box.

Thanks for confirming my guess about the date. Those old photos are like puzzles with clues and I enjoy working them out.

Kit
 

CAframer

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Thanks ... LJ 557591 moulding, LJ 157591 fillet, 4" Crescent 67114 suede, Museuem glass ... client gave me a freehand to design ... and she loved it. Nice when that happens!
 

Twin2

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A stunning framing job, Andrew
thumbsup.gif
. You must be as pleased as the customer. Thanks for sharing a photo of the finished frame.
 

McPhoto

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Terrific job Andrew
thumbsup.gif
thumbsup.gif


The fillet lends itself to the look of the way these "Ambrotypes" used to be displayed usually in a velvet lined case as AnneL mentioned in a previous post. Don't ya love it when the customer gives us carte blanc ?
 

Dave

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Wow! All I can say is WOW!

Nice handling of the piece, Andrew and Kit... nice detective work.

You guys are amazing!

Did I say WOW?!?!
 
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