For sale is a large format 1800s WHOLE PLATE HAND COLORED TINTYPE PORTRAIT. This crisp photo features a young portly gentleman with a fashionable neck beard resting his hand on a book to appear learned and scholarly. The large size of this photo indicates that it was made using a whole plate, a very uncommon size for tintype photos. The photo measures 6 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches. This photo would look great framed with an oval matt. A great historic photography collectible.
A tintype is a photograph made by creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of metal coated with a dark lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photographic emulsion. Tintypes enjoyed their widest use during the 1860s and 1870s, but lesser use of the medium persisted into the early 20th century. Tintype portraits were at first usually made in a formal photographic studio, like daguerreotypes and other early types of photographs. Later, tin types were most commonly made by photographers working in booths at fairs and carnivals, as well as by itinerant sidewalk photographers because a tintype could be developed and fixed and handed to the customer only a few minutes after the picture had been taken.
The tintype saw the Civil War come and go, documenting the individual soldier and horrific battle scenes. It captured scenes from the Wild West, as it was easy to produce by itinerant photographers working out of covered wagons. It began losing artistic and commercial ground to higher quality albumen prints on paper in the mid-1860s, yet survived for well over another 40 years, living mostly as a carnival novelty.
This photo has been hand-colored by adding color to a black-and-white photograph, generally either to heighten the realism of the photograph or for artistic purposes. Typically, watercolors, oils, crayons or pastels, and other paints or dyes were applied to the image surface using brushes, fingers, cotton swabs or airbrushes. Hand-colored photographs were most popular in the mid- to late-19th century before the invention of color photography.