Ambrotype with hand-tinting
Overall: 8 x 6.9 x 2.3 cm (3 1/8 x 2 11/16 x 7/8 in.)
The Julius L. Greenfield Photography Acquisition Fund 2022.14
During the first decades of photography, portraits far outnumbered every other type of image.
It seemed a miracle that anyone could afford to have an accurate record of their own likeness or those of their loved ones. This portrait is an excellent example of the hundreds of thousands of portraits produced by commercial photographers in mid-nineteenth-century America. Small scale yet housed in an elaborately decorated thermoplastic case, it was intended to be carried by its owner or displayed on parlor tables or knickknack shelves.
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