Tag Archives: tintypes

Early Processes
Sixth Plate Daguerreotype of a Sailor Holding a Daguerreotype of His Wife.Sold for $2,726

Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes were some of the earliest photographic processes to gain widespread popularity. Beginning in the mid-19th century, each successive technique improved upon the others in terms of availability, affordability, and processing speed. Photography as we know it today is a reproductive medium, however each of these processes produced single, unique objects.  

Experimenting in close collaboration with Nicéphore Niépce, the first to create a permanent photographic image, Louis Daguerre worked to perfect a commercially viable photographic process.… Read More

Photography on the Battlefield
Photographer’s tent at Antietam National Battlefield

On a recent trip to Maryland, my husband and I visited the national park at Antietam, the site of a ferocious one-day battle on September 17, 1862, in which 23,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed, wounded, or went missing. We were fortunate to be there at the tail end of a week and a half series of lectures and living history events commemorating the 153rd anniversary of the encounter. Our visit began with a fascinating overview of the role of the United States Sanitary Commission in improving the lives of the soldiers, especially at the front lines (we were surprised to learn that over two-thirds of the 622,000 men who lost their lives in the Civil War died from disease rather than from battle).… Read More

Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes & Tintypes: The Rise of Early Photography

Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes were the first three early photographic processes to gain widespread popularity. Developed in the mid-to-late 19th century, each successive technique improved upon the others in availability, affordability, and processing speed. Despite these improvements, each process produced a unique, one-of-a kind image–the only one!

Daguerreotypes Part II: Highlights of the Early Photography Collection of Rod MacKenzie

On October 30, 2011, Skinner will offer the first part of the Early Photography collection of Rod MacKenzie in our American Furniture & Decorative Arts auction. Read Part I of this series to learn more about Rod MacKenzie’s sophisticated taste as a collector. MacKenzie’s extensive knowledge of American history, particularly of the Civil War, is represented by dozens of extraordinary images of military officers and soldiers. The collection includes portraits of soldiers of all types: officers, dashing men in uniform, and images of heart-breakingly young men headed off to war. In looking at these images, we feel tantalizingly close to the battlefield and to the figures taking part in military history. Notes tucked behind case liners, such as “taken at Newbern, No. Carolina 1863 WLW Private C. E. 44th Mass,” bring us in even closer.

Daguerreotypes Part I: Haunting, Beautiful, and Storied Pictures in the Early Photography Collection of Rod MacKenzie

Daguerreotypes are a reminder of a time when photography was very different from the “point-and-shoot” instant pictures of today. Now, you carry a camera in the cell phone in your back pocket everywhere you go. Then, photographers were purveyors of state-of-the-art technology.

In fact, the 19th century photographers who made these long-exposure images were referred to as daguerrean artists, and quickly supplanted the portrait painters of the day. The artists “images,” particularly daguerreotypes, were valued for their clarity and honesty in representation.