Dating an ambrotype

09-Oct-2019 23:32

Another major mistake that many dealers make is to assume a photograph is a daguerreotype simply because it is housed in a case; cases were used for Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes and tintypes.It is important to consider a photograph case when dating an image, though it is a method that is not always accurate.These cases opened like a book to reveal a photograph on the right and a simple satin or fancy cut velvet face pad on the left with leaf or scroll motifs, often with the photographer’s name cut into the velvet.Sometimes the case contained a second photograph in place of the face pad.Daguerreotypes were popular from 1840 to about 1860, while ambrotypes were popular from the mid-1850s to the early 1860s.

Assuming a mat is genuine to the photograph it can be an aid in dating the image.

Thermoplastic cases are often mistakenly identified as being made of gutta percha; a naturally occurring latex. One sure sign that an antique dealer has not done their homework is a thermoplastic photo case identified as gutta percha.

These hinged, patented, thermoplastic cases were made through the 1850s into the early 1860s.

Soon I was buying photographs at auctions where they were usually sold as box lots with often more than one-hundred in a lot; the Pine Bush Grange Hall was my favorite source.

Dealers didn’t eagerly purchase photographs during the 1960s and box-lots often yielded interesting treasures.

Assuming a mat is genuine to the photograph it can be an aid in dating the image.

Thermoplastic cases are often mistakenly identified as being made of gutta percha; a naturally occurring latex. One sure sign that an antique dealer has not done their homework is a thermoplastic photo case identified as gutta percha.

These hinged, patented, thermoplastic cases were made through the 1850s into the early 1860s.

Soon I was buying photographs at auctions where they were usually sold as box lots with often more than one-hundred in a lot; the Pine Bush Grange Hall was my favorite source.

Dealers didn’t eagerly purchase photographs during the 1960s and box-lots often yielded interesting treasures.

The shape, weight, thickness, and texture of a mat can help determine when the photo was taken and case assembled.