These three photographs are a bit of a puzzle – but now we enjoy finding the answers, don’t we? I wanted you to see the three photos as I bought them – they are tintypes in paper sleeves, all very similar but with a different decoration surrounding the photo. It’s when we take them out of the paper sleeves to study them that questions begin to arise.
Tintype photos are exactly what they sound like – a photograph on a piece of tin cut to size, with angles cut on the corners. Two photographs are 1 1/2″ x 2″, one (below) 1 1/4″ x 1 1/5″, the paper sleeves 2 1/2″ x 4″. Traditional paper sleeves were used in the 1870’s, but these smaller photographs, called gem tintypes, were found during 1864-1866. And if we look closely at the clothing of our three subjects, this date is correct.
All three women have the off the shoulder sleeve found during this time period, almost coming down to the armpit. The large bishop sleeves of each is another indication.
Our little girl is richly dressed in a shiny, patterned material. Her large sleeves look as if it took quite a bit of material to make them. As per the other ladies, she gives no sweet smile, just a somber look.
Categories: Old Photos