An early form of photography, tintypes were made by transferring a positive image directly to a thin sheet of metal, which was coated with a dark lacquer or enamel. They were the most popular form of photography in the 1860s and 1870s. This one is a sixth-plate tintype, which refers to the size of the image. This photograph depicts a dark-haired Union Artillery Corporal, who is seated, with his right arm resting on a table or desk edge. He wears an artillery shell jacket with anchor epaulets on the shoulders.
His rank is denoted by the chevrons on his sleeve. The image also includes a book and artillery saber. The image is mounted in an ornate Gutta Percha union case with metal closure. A rich burgundy velvet pad with embossed crest on the inner verso side of the case protects the glass-covered photograph.
The outside of the case has ornate relief carvings of birds drinking from a fountain, surrounded by elaborate scrollwork. Tintype presents in very good, as-found antique condition, with minor patina to the image but no major visible damage noted. Frame case has wear and minor dings commensurate with age and use.
The metal closure is missing some wood, and the edges of the case have some chips. What a fantastic addition to any antique photography or Civil War collection.
2-1/2 in width x appx. 3-3/8" in height (frame obscures borders of image) Dimensions/case: 3-1/4" in width (closed), appx. 3-3/4" in height, 7/8" in depth (closed).
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