A little color if you please.....

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Larmo
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A little color if you please.....

Post by Larmo » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:14 pm

Greetings All,

A Merry Christmas and Joyous Holiday Season to each of you and yours….

This little project has been sitting on a mental back burner for quite awhile now and the urge to do something about it finally came upon me.

This is not a technical or overly historical little article , merely a fun display of attempts by 19th Century photographers to bring a little color into their products , which now wonderfully reflect the times in which they lived. Most of the images will have a military theme, however some shown here will have civilian content, included because of their subject matter or quality of execution, I hope you don’t mind.

Frenchman Louis Daguerre is generally given the credit for being the first commercial success in the art of photography or image taking in the 1840’s. The Daguerreotype bears his name to this day, being an image chemically produced on a silver washed copper plate. The elegance and detail by some of the early daguerreotype artists in their work is truly amazing.

Next came the Ambrotype, an image on chemically treated glass which produced a negative display until placed upon a dark background. Generally the reverse was simply painted black, but sometimes black cloth or paper was used. When this was done the image could be easily seen.

The photographic process that became the most commercially successful of the hard images done on metal or glass (read cheap here) was the lowly Ferrotype, perhaps better known as the Tintype. An image produced on a chemically coated iron plate.

Paper images soon followed with another French artist by the name of Andre Disderi developing this photographic process around 1854. These photographic images were mounted on business or calling card sized cardboard rectangles, hence the name Carte de Visite, or CDV.

The 19th Century photographic customer could also opt to purchase the process of gilding or colorizing their new image in order to make their picture more life-like and attractive. As in most things in life, these efforts were affected by the size of the customers wallet or purse and the talent of the individual artist doing the work. Some results are amazing in their delicate tones and life-like renditions, while others are cartoonish and somewhat crude in their depictions.

I will present these images in more or less of a chronological order beginning with Daguerreotypes and ending with CDV’s. A caveat regarding dating of an image would be that many of the different processes co-existed with each other for a time. With the Daguerreotype falling to the wayside first, followed by the Ambro and Tintype with paper winning the end prize.

All of the images we show here are a sampling from the photographic collection assembled by Terri and I over the last 30 plus years. We have had a lot of fun collecting them and we hope you enjoy them.

Our first installment will be hard images

French, Second Empire, Ambrotype, Seated Artillery NCO wearing the Medaille Militaire and British Crimean Medal, French style case

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American, Civil War, 1/4 Plate Daguerreotype in an unusual Union Case with a Cameo cover.

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American, ca 1850-1860, Two young brothers holding hands, Daguerreotype sixth plate, half case.
American, ca 1850-1860, attractive young woman in a blue dress with gilt jewelry, Daguerreotype, ninth plate, full case

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English, ca 1850-1860, lovely young woman in an elaborate bonnet, Ambrotype, half plate, full case
American, ca 1850-1860, young girl with hoop and stick, Ambrotype, quarter plate, half case
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American, ca 1850-1860, volunteer Fireman, Ambrotype, sixth plate, half case
American, ca 1850-1860, lovely young woman in a blue dress, sixth plate, full case
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American, Civil War, New York Volunteer, Tintype, quarter plate, full Thermoplastic case, Washington Monument in Richmond. Note that the artist painted the tiny letters SNY (State of New York or Snotty Nosed Yank depending on your point of view)on his belt plate.

American, Civil War, young boy with drum and flag, Tintype, CDV sized image in a paper mount

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American, Civil War, Unknown Confederate Infantrymen, Ambrotype, quarter plate, full case

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Greetings All

This is the second installment on my little article on 19th century colorized photography. This time we’ll be using Carte de Visite, or CDV’s, to illustrate the various techniques. The CDV image was a real game-changer photographically speaking, in that additional copies of the subjects photos could be cheaply made from the original image. As a result this process spread like wildfire, with photographers setting up studios around the world to take their customers photographs and also selling stock images of every subject matter imaginable, buildings, animals, works of art, famous and infamous people.

Ok, so here goes...

First up, a Vatican Swiss Guard circa 1860-1870, rather than being tinted, his uniform is painted on, no backmark.
A Danish Royal Guardsman circa 1865, tinted uniform and yellow flowers, Charles Wind photographer, possibly Coepenhagen
Perhaps a Papal Zouave, he looks quite the pirate with the brace of pistols and dagger in his sash, heavy tint, no backmark.

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French 2nd Empire, circa 1860-1870, mounted artilleryman. The entire image has been overpainted except for the subjects face. A great folk-art look to this one.
French 2nd Empire, circa 1860-1870, this time only the uniform has been overpainted, B.Cistac photographer, Metz
French 2nd Empire, circa 1860-1870, another artilleryman, with only the red portions of his uniform highlighted. Gerschel photographer, Strasbourg

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French 2nd Empire, NCO, Regiment of Guides, Imperial Guard, Coudrette photographer
French 2nd Empire, Lancer of the Imperial Guard, note the tiny crossed lances painted on his buckle, Edouard Viel photographer, Meaux
French 1870-1880, Cuirassier, CDV sized photograph placed upon a commericially produced lithographed mount. The subject wears the pre 1872 pattern helmet, however the images of the Medaille Militaire and Legion of Honor are post Napoleon III.

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French 2nd Empire, circa 1860-1870, Chasseur a Pied, only his epaulettes and tunic piping have been tinted. Note the elaborate belt buckle worn by these regiments. The US Army briefly adopted this pattern of buckle for use with rifle regiments prior to the Civil War. Provost photographer, Toulouse.
French, circa 1870-1880, Tirailleur Algerien, no backmark. A penciled inscription on the reverse dates this as 1856, but I'm not quite sure..
French 2nd Empire, circa 1860-1870, a very youthful Imperial Guard Grenadier. Perhaps he's a real soldier, or maybe the son of one of the regimental officers. In either case, the artist did an excellent job in tinting his image. G.Prevot photographer, Paris.


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Ok, the Christmas decorations have all been put away, the trees have been taken down and life is getting back to what passes for normal at Casa Rosa.
Happy New Year all, the best for 2014.

Let's finally get to look at some German images shall we...

1st up, CDV, Hamburg city Militiaman ca 1860-1865(or at least I think so) really nicely colorized, Julius Hahn Photographer, Hamburg.
Next two CDV images of the same guardsman ca 1865-1870, nice before and after don't you agree? Photographisches Institut Berlin backmark.

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OYV from Cassel, ca 1870, minimal colorizing, only red with a little yellow for his buttons and other brass bits, J.R.Bellson Photographer, Cassel
Garde Jaeger, ca 1865-1870, nice view of his M1865 Jaeger Pattern Needle Gun, Theodor Haertel Photographer, Potsdam
Prussian Medic, ca 1866-1870, he wears the 1870-1871 Campaign Medal and a hand colored red cross brassard, H. Kleinert Photographer, Berlin

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4th Garde Regiment zu Fuss, ca 1890-1900, uniform is painted over, the chair is nicely tinted, E. Hartzendorff Photographer, Berlin
CDV sized image on an elaborate cabinet card mount, 3rd Garde Regiment zu Fuss, Otto Witten Photographer
Kaiser Franz Garde Grenadier, 7th Company, very nicely tinted, H.Fricke Photographer, Berlin, ca 1890
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Bavarian CDV image, the uniform is painted over including the Raupenhelm, dated 1877 on the reverse, A. Bammert Photographer, Munchen
CDV image ca 1890-1900, 1st Magdeburg Infantry Nr.26, the uniform is completely painted over, Herm.Dieck Photographer
CDV image ca 1900, 2nd Baden Grenadier Regiment Nr.110, wonderful job of tinting especially on the shoulder straps and kokarden, Josef Knippschild Photographer, Heidelberg
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CDV, Garde Hussar, dated 1887 on the reverse, the Attila is completely painted over, W.Lange & Sohn Photographer, Potsdam
CDV, ca 1890-1900, Saxon Garde Reiter, nicely tinted image, E.W.Mathias Photographer, Seifhennersdorf
CDV, ca 1890-1900, 2nd Wurttemberg Dragoon Rgt Nr 26, the uniform and sword are completely painted over, nicely tinted table & chair. F.Stoess Photographer, Stuttgart.
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CDV, ca 1890-1900, 6th Cuirassier, mount has been trimmed, nicely tinted details, G.Stegerer Photographer, Brandenburg
CDV, pre 1897, 20th Ulan, uniform and details painted over, G.Rossle Photographer, Ludwigsburg
Even little children couldn't escape the artists brush, tiny Ulan, F.Gebhardt Photographer
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This final image (so far at least, fair warning here) is in some ways the most interesting of the paper images. He represents a member of the Garde Schutzen Battalion with a colored brassard on his arm. The actual image is an enlargment on a cabinet card mount bearing a photographers name of Dietz with a Patterson New Jersey (USA) address. My guess is that the soldier dates from the war with Denmark in 1864, when Prussian and Austrian troops wore armbands to distinguish each other from the Danes. The soldier and his family later emigrated to the US and they took Papa's old picture in to a local photographer to have it enlarged and colorized. At least thats my theory. The large white blob is the man's messkit attached to his knapsack.
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Well, this brings us to the end of my little exercise. We’ve glimpsed through the tiniest of cracks in the window of 19th Century colorized photography and I hope you’ve enjoyed the peek. Cheers… :thumb up:

Larmo
Last edited by Larmo on Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:17 am, edited 15 times in total.

badener
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Re: A little color if you please.....

Post by badener » Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:15 pm

Very enjoyable and informative. :D
It must be a Bavarian. They always smell the worst!

911car
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Re: A little color if you please.....

Post by 911car » Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:27 pm

Great! I love it. Impatient to see more.
Besides technique and colors, a major difference with modern portraits is that... none of these fellows smile. We already discussed this in the past in a thread started by Joe, I think. I personally prefer these non smiling faces. More natural...
Merry Christmas;
Bruno

Larmo
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Re: A little color if you please.....

Post by Larmo » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:19 am

Thanks Badener, Thanks Bruno, for taking the time to comment and happy you enjoyed them...I'll be working on the rest of the photos after Christmas
Besides technique and colors, a major difference with modern portraits is that... none of these fellows smile
You are so right, it took time for the image to set, hard to keep a smile frozen on one's face during the wait. Photographers also used assorted props to keep their subjects still. In the image of the little boy with the drum you can see the base of a prop behind his feet. There was likely a small brace which kept the child's head still for the photographer.

Here though is an image where the hint of a wry smile and a twinkle in the eye can be seen in this subject. He served in the 11th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry.

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I was digging through some more of our collection looking for colorized paper images for next time when these interesting old images were re-discovered. Thought I'd sneak them in here for Christmas Eve.

First up is this rather remarkable image, American, ca 1850-1860, Ambrotype, Full Case of a photographer preparing to gild or tint an image. He holds his brush in one hand with perhaps a small pot of gilt paint or tint in the other. Two cased images are set before him, one he is working on and the other perhaps a finished project.

Next an outdoor winter scene from the same family as the photographer with the two pine trees tinted green. Another sixth plate ambrotype,half case. Outdoor scenes from this era tend to be scarce, it was a lot of work for the photographer to set up his equipment out of doors. Note the man and horse.
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Last one (I promise) is this nice American Ambrotype, sixth plate in a half case of a mother and her child. The artist did a nice job of tinting the background.
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badener
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Re: A little color if you please.....

Post by badener » Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:46 am

Oh what a terrific image of the 11th Kansas trooper. As a resident of Jackson County MO. it has special resonance. Thanks again Larmo. =D>
It must be a Bavarian. They always smell the worst!

Larmo
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Re: A little color if you please.....

Post by Larmo » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:27 pm

Thanks Badener, glad you liked him. The Missouri/Kansas border during the Civil War was a mighty rough place to be...no wonder he carries a brace of what look like Colt '51 Navy Revolvers on his belt.

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Re: A little color if you please.....

Post by Larmo » Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:35 pm

Just did a little update, Happy New Year

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joerookery
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Re: A little color if you please.....

Post by joerookery » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:34 am

Great! I always learn!
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Re: A little color if you please.....

Post by joerookery » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:36 am

James you should pin this one..
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The British philosopher and historian R.G. Colligwood said, "it is not
the facts that are interesting in history, but the questions and their
answers - and these can never be fixed.

Larmo
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Re: A little color if you please.....

Post by Larmo » Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:18 am

Last update...whew!

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b.loree
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Re: A little color if you please.....

Post by b.loree » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:49 pm

Many thanks for this posting, I learned a great deal. Please keep adding to this thread as your collection expands. We have a huge amount of experience and brain power on this forum!
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

pantera123
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Re: A little color if you please.....

Post by pantera123 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:16 am

Larmo,
I sent you a message about one of your photographs.
Thanks
Bryan

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Re: A little color if you please.....

Post by madddawg3 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:25 am

Larmo,

Your collection of images is stunning! I too collect Civil War images. Perhaps you are familiar with the Liljenquist Collection of Civil War photographs at the Library of Congress.

I would love to chat if you have a moment. Here is my contact information: Tom Liljenquist (703) 508-9300 cell, [email protected] email

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Tom

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Re: A little color if you please.....

Post by poniatowski » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:50 am

The second example, the Daguerreotype, has a VERY handsome case! I've seen quite a few, but this one is superb. I lucked out on a sixth plate once, it was listed as 'mirror, sold as is'. Evidently, the dealer didn't look at the image, rather than the 'marring' of the surface. $5 and it was mine. Not military, but an interesting photo of a man with a growth on his face, leather case though in poor condition.

:D Ron
I really do need to know more about this....

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Re: A little color if you please.....

Post by pantera123 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:15 pm

Did Larmo just disappear off the face of the earth????

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