Monday, May 4, 2015

A (new old) tintype

While I like to think of myself as a bookseller, the truth is more complicated: this is Chancery Hill Books and Antiques, after all, and I've been selling antiques other than books for almost all my life (at least occasionally and irregularly), while I've only been selling books even semi-seriously for a little over a decade.

So I often find myself buying things other than books, and one of the things I found recently was this little tintype, part of a small batch I bought pretty much just to get this one.  Tintypes, which really democratized photography after the more complicated and expensive Daguerreotype and Ambrotype processes began to get popular, usually date anywhere from the 1860s to the 1910s; this one is probably from the late 1800s.

I wanted this one, of course, because it's a fine example of the classic "Hidden Mother" photograph that has been recently written about in various places on the web, as in this case of this article from the Guardian.

This poor little kid still looks a little blurry: even having his mother holding him (or her?) couldn't really keep him still, even though he looks half asleep.

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