Care of Encased Photographic Images – Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) Notes 16/1

Last week I began a discussion of the oldest photographs, all of which were produced as encased images. The daguerreotype was the earliest of these: it was a positive photographic image on a copper plate, produced from to the early s, and was most popular from to The ambrotype is the second kind of photographic image that you may find in a case. Essentially this procedure involved coating a piece of glass with chemicals, putting the glass in the camera while still wet and exposing it to light in front of an image. The resulting picture was called an ambrotype. These were negative images. To make them appear positive, a piece of black cloth or paper was placed behind the image, or black shellac was applied to the back of the glass.

Workshops and demo sessions

Dates are based on analysis of over 2, objectively dated daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes; it is the fruit of 20 months of research. The PDF can be downloaded at www. Please see the last chapter “How you can help. Sign up for a free account, or sign in if you’re already a member. Flickr logo. If you click it, you’ll go home.

G Title: Maria Weston Chapman Creator/Contributor: Created/Published: [​Boston?] Date created: (approximate) Physical description: 1 photograph.

Please contact mpub-help umich. For more information, read Michigan Publishing’s access and usage policy. Among the first photographs to be made by Japanese photographers exclusively for Japanese clients, ambrotypes—collodion negatives exposed on blackened glass to make them look like positive images—were produced in large numbers in Japan in the s and s, well after the process had been superseded in the West.

In many ways these unique combinations of photography and calligraphy exemplify the tensions of the Meiji era, a time when Japan was seeking to reconcile its own traditions with the ways of the West, including the widening influence of photography itself. An early example shows a samurai in Western dress holding his sword, already an incongruous image.

Dated to , the image was thus made at made at the end of the Edo shogunate—a time of great social upheaval, when Japan began to make its transition from feudal to modern society.

Ambrotypes & Daguerreotypes

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.

This first manifested in the s in a form known as ambrotypes. At first sight similar to a daguerreotype, the ambrotype too comes in a glass fronted case.

Bring it to Dr. The earliest form of photography is the daguerreotype. The only problems with daguerreotypes was that they were expensive, labor intensive, and time consuming to produce. In the early s, daguerreotypes were replaced by a cheaper alternative called the ambrotype. Ambrotypes were the brainchild of Frederick Scott Archer. Ambrotypes became popular in the Victorian period from the late s until the s. An ambrotype image is a negative placed on a piece of glass which is then hosted on a black background.

The black background makes the negative image look like a positive image. The black backgrounds are easy to spot when shopping for early photographs at antique shops, yard sales, and flea markets. With ambrotypes, collectors look for the images of famous people such as celebrities or politicians, young children in groups, soldiers in uniforms, and famous events or historic sites. Ambrotypes, depending on condition and subject matter, command several hundreds of dollars to several thousands of dollars in the current trading market.

Patented in , another type of early photograph is the durable tintypes or ferrotypes. Tintypes used a thin sheet of iron to host an image.

Antique Ambrotype Photographs

He will also demonstrate the direct positive Wet Collodion process and make Ambrotypes, Alumitypes some call these modern Tintypes and describe each substrate and its uses as well as equipment and chemistry. This course is designed for people who have never worked with the Wet Collodion process or for people that have and want more formal training in it.

No darkroom experience is required but is helpful. Students will get to see the process executed from start to finish and the workflow methodology that Quinn uses for his work.

cases were used for Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes and tintypes. It is important to consider a photograph case when dating an image, though it.

The treatments, methods, or techniques described herein are provided for informational purposes. The reader assumes responsibility for any application results or interpretation of information. The ambrotype is an under-exposed wet collodion negative on glass that appears positive due to the presence of a dark backing or use of dark glass support. In most instances, the image is varnished and placed in a case for safe-keeping. Known examples of ambrotypes printed on yellow or blue glass supports exist, but the occurrence is rare.

Historical Facts Invented: In , Frederick Scott Archer presented the wet plate collodion technique to the photographic societies. Patented: Although earlier practitioners were producing precursors to the ambrotype, i. Historic Practitioners: Any daguerreotypist involved in commercial portraiture around would have dabbled in the production of ambrotypes. One well-known daguerreotypist was Platt D. Babbitt active Identification Characteristics Image layer: Collodion and physically developed silver, usually varnished.

Color: Monochrome may have applied color Support: Glass possibly backed with dark paint. There may also be a secondary dark textile, metal, glass or paper support. Analysis: A varnish will fluoresce in UV light.

How to Date Your Old Photos

These direct image formats are unique, developed directly onto support material with no separate negative. Daguerreotypes and ambrotypes are often enclosed in a hinged case behind glass; tintypes were sometimes placed in thin folding cases. Consider the use of facsimiles instead. The duration of an exhibit should be determined in advance, and no item should be placed on display permanently. Most items should not be displayed for longer than 3 to 4 months, assuming other conditions such as light levels, temperature, and relative humidity are within acceptable ranges.

Facsimiles or items of low artifactual value may be exhibited for longer periods of time.

So, let’s move the date up to Now, let’s look at the people in the photographs. Dating photographs based on what a person is wearing is.

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history. Share Tweet Facebook. Views: Sign Up or Sign In. London Photograph Diary. Victoria and Albert Museum’s photography collection. National Science and Media Museum. RPS Journal online and searchable.

Daguerreotype, Ambrotype and Tintype: Telling Them Apart

AARP Rewards is here to make your next steps easy, rewarding and fun! Learn more. 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: When was the picture taken?

When an individual visited a photo studio in the late s, he could choose the style of portrait—shiny reflective daguerreotype, glass ambrotype, metal tintype.

The term “case photograph” describes three types of 19th-century photographs that were generally kept in cases which were both decorative and protective. They are the daguerreotype , named after its inventor L. Daguerre; the ambrotype; and the tintype or ferrotype. Daguerreotypes were introduced in in Paris, France, constituting for some photo-historians the beginning of photography. Ambrotypes and tintypes, made by the wet collodion process, originated in the s. Daguerreotypes continued to be made into the s.

Ambrotypes were made for a little while longer. Tintypes survived into the 20th century in modified form as a type of instant portrait photograph. The mention in one breath of these three types of case photographs does not suggest that they have similar properties. Whereas a daguerreotype is made by a unique photographic process that differs from any other silver halide process, ambrotypes and tintypes are made by the wet collodion process, which was the principal negative process in the second half of the 19 th century.

The support material of daguerreotypes is a silverplated copper sheet. The image consists of microscopic particles of silver amalgam an alloy of mercury and silver located on the silver surface. Owing to the presence of a metallic silver layer in a daguerreotype, it has been called a “mirror with a memory” with a “jewel-like appearance.

The Gelatin Silver Process – Photographic Processes Series – Chapter 10 of 12