Tintype, whole plate
Overall: 21.6 x 16.5 cm (8 1/2 x 6 1/2 in.); Matted: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16 in.)
Gift of Charles Isaacs and Carol Nigro 2003.299
Since the beginning of photography, objects and people have been purposefully arranged, or staged, for the camera. Popular in the late 1860s and 1870s, tintypes offered low prices and shortened exposure times. Perhaps because tintypists commonly worked at fairs and carnivals, frivolous images, such as this staged hold-up, became common. In these fictional scenes, all the participants were in on the joke. Some such scenes may be novelties, others may be gag portraits commissioned by groups of friends.
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