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  • Item Category: Fine Art
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Apr 20, 2016
  • Channel: Auction House

Measuring about 2-3/4" x 3-1/4" - which I think makes it a one-sixth plate - this ambrotype photograph contains a remarkably clear and sharp image of an unidentified old lady wearing some kind of shawl over her shoulders. Her hairline is very fuzzy, and I'm not sure how much of it is actual hair and how much is some kind of hairnet or headscarf.

She is framed in a decorative brass preserver, with an oval brass mat between the two layers of glass. Because the black paint on the back of the glass is a little scratched and crackled, someone loosely inserted a piece of dark fabric in the case to darken the image.

The case itself is a hinged "Union Case" made by Littlefield, Parsons & Co. (see last picture), bearing patent dates of 1856 and 1857. The image on the front (and repeated on the back) is a falconry hunting scene, with a woman on horseback holding a falcon, while a man and a dog walk alongside. Unfortunately, it looks like the spring clasp was forced open at one time, leaving a crack that runs from the clasp area on the side to about half way across the top, all the way through the man and dog. The image on the back (second picture) is not damaged. Other than that, the hinges feel a little loose, and the decorative velvet inside lining has some threadbare chunks.

It was found with other photographs from
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