A Family in Lifelike Detail

Crisp, detailed and evocative mammoth plate ambrotype of mother and three children, in original passe-partout mount and gilt wall frame. Image plate size approx. 12 x 10 inches (30x25 cm), visible area 11.25 x 9.25 inches (29x23 cm). Complete image including frame measures 20 x 16 inches (50x41 cm).   Price: $4,800.   ( Inventory# eo100 )

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A stunning image which was clearly taken from life and contains all the crisp detail of a smaller image across the full extent of its carefully crafted surface. Unlike many other larger hard images, this plate does not sacrifice detail or execution in achieving its extraordinary dimensions. The effects of motion blurring and focus combine with the clear detail to produce a sense of emotional agitation very like that found in the photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron, who worked in the selfsame collodion process, although with the aim of multiple albumen prints rather than a single, unique ambrotype image.

With applied hand-color in white and gilt. Mat has some moderate water-staining. Image is well-preserved and in excellent condition. This a very rare example of the highest level to which a 19th-century ambrotype could aspire, and a stellar display piece.

Provenance: Christies South Kensington (UK), Fine and Rare Photographs, 8 May 1998, Lot 8.


Last updated March 28, 2017

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