A lovely 1/6 plate daguerreotype of sisters by Van Loan, with an extremely well preserved velvet pad. The dresses being identical made me think at first glance they were twins, but I’m thinking just sisters now, after seeing the plate in person.
This is the first plate I’ve re-sealed. The original seals were intact, but there was enough dust on the inside of the cover glass that I decided it was preferable to open, clean the glass, and re-seal with Filmoplast P90. I’ve dated and initialed the tape.
These were an auction lot, which is why I’m showing them together. The first two are 1/9th plates, and the second two, 1/6th plates. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary or earthshaking here, but nonetheless, a very interesting grab-bag of stuff that fills some holes in my collection.
The first image here, of the old lady, is a ruby-glass ambrotype. I apologize for all the dust, but when I removed the packet from the case, I discovered that the paper seals were complete and intact, so I did not want to break them just to remove a little dust. What’s interesting about this is the mat – it appears to be painted paper, rather than stamped brass or gilded copper. It’s the first of this kind I’ve seen.
This little tintype, image-wise, is nothing at all special. I do like her dress though – you can see she had fishnet lace shoulders. What’s interesting about this one (and it’s hard to tell from the scan of the package) is that the mat and preserver are extremely clean, bright and shiny as if they were put on yesterday. I’ve not seen such before. I’m confident that they are not modern reproductions recently applied.
A nice, generic tintype of a middle-aged man.
This was another unusual item. I know it was done, but infrequently – this is not an ambrotype or tintype or daguerreotype, but rather what I believe is a salt print (the reason I don’t think albumen is that the surface is extremely matte, and it is relatively low-resolution – albumens are typically much glossier and have pretty high resolution). If it is indeed a salt print, it is one of the first in my collection. I wonder if this is not a copy of a daguerreotype or ambrotype:
The outfits, especially his necktie, seem to be from the 1840s/50s
I have not seen many paper images in small plate sizes like this – this is a 1/6th plate
The low resolution could also be a symptom of being a third-generation copy (original plate, paper copy negative, paper print)
Also interesting to see is the gilding of her jewelry – the rouging of the cheeks is not at all surprising, but the gilding of a paper image is not something I’ve run across before. This one, also a 1/6 plate
This has to be about the finest daguerreotype I own, quality-wise. It was an estate sale purchase on an online estate auction site. When listed, the picture looked bad, but having seen enough of these, my intuition said, “the cover glass is just dirty”. I bid, and won.
Well, I was right. When it arrived, there was a lot of dust inside the cover glass. The original seals were present, but they were totally shot. I removed them, opened the packet, and BOOM! This is what I found underneath. I have since cleaned the cover glass and will shortly be re-sealing with films-last tape. The dust you see in the scan here is now on the outside. I’m in awe of the gentle hand-coloring you see in his face and hands, and the texture of his waistcoat. You can practically feel the silk just looking at it!
This is a quarter-plate dag in leather case, probably late 1840s or at the latest early 1850s.
My latest acquisition: a daguerreotype portrait by Thomas Mimmo of Baltimore. Not only was this an absolutely gorgeous plate (from a quality standpoint one of the finest daguerreotypes I have), but having been a previous resident of Baltimore, it appealed on that mental association as well. Baltimore was the birthplace of my photographic interest, having learned it at Maryland Institute College of Art.
If you look carefully at the image, this was the scion of a wealthy family – not only did he get his daguerreotype portrait made, but he paid extra to have the buttons on his waistcoat gilded. The fabric of his waistcoat is exquisite, and his bowtie is immaculately tied. He was obviously someone who cared a great deal about his appearance.