Dating and photography
These are daguerreotypes as invented by Daguerre in France.Around 1850, photos were produced which were actually weak negatives on glass but, when backed with a dark material or black paint, appeared as normal positive images: these were ambrotypes.Both ambrotypes and daguerreotypes can be found in maroon ‘leather’ cases or highly ornate Union Cases made from a shiny and brittle thermoplastic material.Up to this stage, photos were generally one-offs, there was no negative and multiple copies were impracticable.
Suddenly photography was available to the masses as well as the gentry and family albums became a must for most Victorian families.And as a single woman with single female friends (and years of insightful conversations!) I’ve got loads of experience of what is hot and what is not and I can help you create a selection of photos that women will swoon over.So, the first step in narrowing the possible date for your old photograph is to be able to identify 19th century photographs to determine what type you have.The information provided here can turn you into a proficient photo detective.
The vast majority of antique photographs taken in the 19th century were one of the following types.