# 43358

Photographer unknown

Outdoor ambrotype of a family group with three generations of women (and a pet pony). U.S.A., 1856-57.

$875.00 AUD

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Sixth-plate ambrotype (wet collodion positive), 70 x 80 mm (sight); housed in an oval brass mat under cover glass, in an A. P. Critchlow thermoplastic Union case, 82 x 94 mm, with Mother Embracing Child 2 design (Berg 1-14); the ambrotype and case are in superb condition.

A beautifully composed outdoor portrait of three generations of females in the same family. Notice the girl at far right, who tried to hold still the head of her pony – but did not entirely succeed!

The ambrotype – from the Greek ambrotos, “immortal” – is created using the wet plate collodion process developed by the English inventor Frederick Scott Archer, which came into vogue in Europe and North America from around 1854 as a cheaper alternative to the daguerreotype. A glass plate covered with a thin layer of collodion, then dipped in a silver nitrate solution, is exposed to the subject while still wet, then developed and fixed. When the reverse of this negative image is coated with a dark emulsion such as varnish or paint, the resulting image appears as a positive. The process requires the expertise and experience of a professional photographer. Every ambrotype is a unique image that can only be duplicated by copying with another camera.