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Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 21 2009 at 10:03 PM
barrysloate  (Login barrysloate)

That early image that just closed on ebay (someone if they could please link it for me- #270330630600), which was in fact a half plate image, was likely an ambrotype. I was emailing the seller today and he was polite but had no idea what he had. He also had no idea how to spell daguerreotype, thus hurting his sale too.

It was a spectacular image but in the end I think it had too many very serious condition problems. But it was exceptionally early, perhaps pre-1865.


    
This message has been edited by barrysloate on Jan 21, 2009 10:04 PM


 
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Frank Wakefield
(Login Greatwake)
Registered Users

Re: Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 21 2009, 10:28 PM 

http://tinyurl.com/bwygee


Interesting, Barry. Thank you!

 
 
Rhys
(Login prewarsports)

Re: Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 21 2009, 10:31 PM 

I decided not to bid because it was already pretty high earlier today (and I am in the middle of trying my best to blow all my money on another collection). However, I was under the impression from looking at it that it was a tintype. It seemed to me that the black part of the tin was visible after the glass ended at the bottom. I could be wrong, but that was my assessment of the piece. It was an early image and despite the condition flaws, it was not a bad piece.

Rhys

 
 
David M
(Login GasHouseGang)

Cricket?

January 21 2009, 10:32 PM 

Doesn't that look more like a Cricket bat that the one player is holding? Not arguing that it is any early image.

 
 

davidcycleback
(Login dereb12)

Re: Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 22 2009, 1:37 AM 

Confident it's baseball. The early to mid 1860s bats were monster-size clubs.


    
This message has been edited by dereb12 on Jan 22, 2009 2:05 AM


 
 

Rob L
(Login Rob_L)

Re: Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 22 2009, 2:16 AM 

Wow. What a great image. I wish I had seen it earlier.

[linked image]

Rob L

http://www.freewebs.com/loefflerrd/

 
 
barrysloate
(Login barrysloate)

Re: Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 22 2009, 7:03 AM 

Rhys- I had several emails with the seller during the day to try and determine whether it was an ambro or a tin. While he responded quickly he was not very helpful. I originally thought it was a tintype, but what looks like tin from the back may actually be dark glass. It's hard to tell both from the scans and from his emails.

What knocked me out in the end was the condition. Way too many problems, and if it is an ambro that glass looks like it is pretty close to cracking. But I have to say either way it was a really superb early image.

 
 

Dave Hornish
(Login dsh46)

Re: Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 22 2009, 7:39 AM 

Nice image-wonder if the hirsute players were wearing Lincoln style beards in homage to Abe or if it was a style at the time even without Lincoln's having one.

 
 
barrysloate
(Login barrysloate)

Re: Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 22 2009, 7:54 AM 

Those beards were in style in the early to mid 1860's. As the decade neared an end many were shaved off, and the mutton chop sideburn became the rage.

 
 

scott brockelman
(Login scottbrockelman)

definitely an Ambro

January 22 2009, 9:07 AM 

with all the emulsion flaking off and it appears you can see a bit of glass at the top as well.

 
 
ramram
(Login ramramram)

Re: Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 22 2009, 9:51 AM 

I too originally made a fast assumption that it was a tintype (with the glass taped over the front). Later, when I looked again, it did appear to be an ambro with a piece of blackened tin behind. There also appears to be the remnants of a scalloped shape on the front of the glass which would be evident of it having been in a case at one time. That would also lend evidence to the image being from the early 1860's or sooner.

Rob M.

 
 
barrysloate
(Login barrysloate)

Re: Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 22 2009, 10:04 AM 

If it were in better condition I would have been all over it, but it really has some issues and I don't think a conservator could clean it up. Those flaws are deep into the glass.

But as I said, it is still a rare and amazingly early image. I wouldn't be shocked if it was taken in 1863.

 
 
jason
(Login earlybball)

Ambrotype

January 22 2009, 10:40 AM 

Nice item!

Just to add my thoughts - as Barry surmised, it is definitely an ambrotype and if I had to guess, I would put a date of 1861-63 on it given the dress which looks like it is just one step removed from the fireman type uniforms of the late 1850s.

I think Barry is right again on the conservation side. A good ambrotype restorer can do a decent job at covering over emulsion crazing but I fear there are just too many problems with this piece. Still very collectible though! Whoever won it needs to get this retaped with Filmoplaste P90 asap and stop that dammed metal plate from scraping off any more emulsion from the back.

 
 
barrysloate
(Login barrysloate)

Re: Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 22 2009, 10:43 AM 

Hi Jason- how are things with you?

 
 
Jimmy
(Login boxingbaseballgolf33)

Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 22 2009, 10:49 AM 

Condition is the only thing that would hold me back from bidding, very nice item. I have had only a few of these, including one that is on my website that was sold a few years back - it's on my contacts page.

thanks for pointing this important image out to all of us

Jimmy

 
 
jason
(Login earlybball)

Ambro

January 22 2009, 11:09 AM 

Hi Barry, things are fine thank you. I am just rushed off my feet as usual so unfortunately, I have little time for lurking around the message board. It's nice to catch up when I do though.

My problem is I collect too many things what with cards, coins, comics and early photography. The time needed to do all these searches on ebay though is a real killer.

If I am not mistaken, I believe that you have similarly diverse collecting interests Barry? How do you find time to post so much? Every time I check in on here you are always contributing! Anyway, I trust you too are well?

 
 
barrysloate
(Login barrysloate)

Re: Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 22 2009, 11:12 AM 

My work day is not a full one, and I have a home office. I work when I need to, and post in between. Look at all the time I save not having to commute.

 
 
ramram
(Login ramramram)

Re: Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 22 2009, 12:18 PM 

Hey Jason,

Good to hear from you. I'm sure fatherhood still has you slowed down for awhile!

Rob M.

 
 
Tim Parson
(Login ambrotypistky)

Re: Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 23 2009, 12:45 PM 

It is an Ambrotype backed by an old Daguerreotype plate that has been blackened on the copper side of the old dag plate(an Ambrotype needs a Black backing) .



This was a common practice, as the Wet Plate Process(Ambrotype/"Tintype") replaced the Daguerreian process,the Photographers would blacken one side of their no longer in demand Dag Plates for backing plates--just to get rid of the now useless plates. I have seen a number of of Ambrotypes backed by old Dags.



It can be very confusing to the novice to tell a Dag from an Ambrotype if the image still retains its seals.(ealy Ambrotypes were sealed with thin strips of paper to the matt and cover glass like most Dags were, a practice that faded out as the Ambrotype process matured).



The image has suffered from poor storage but appears quite stable, although there is no way I am aware of to restore the damaged "Emulsion".



A new backing plate/cover glass/seal and it should be good for another 100+ years.



Tim Parson



Ambrotypist


    
This message has been edited by ambrotypistky on Jan 23, 2009 1:39 PM


 
 
barrysloate
(Login barrysloate)

Re: Early Photo on Ebay was Probably Ambrotype

January 23 2009, 12:57 PM 

Tim- this is the first time I've heard that old discarded dag plates were used as the dark background for ambros. It certainly makes sense, as you would never throw out anything that still has use. And I take it from your title "ambrotypist" that you take ambrotype photographs today? If so, good to see there are still people keeping alive this dying art.

 
 
 
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