OPALOTYPE OR “MILK GLASS” PHOTOGRAPH OF UNION OFFICER IN PATRIOTIC CASE

$250.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1054-105

Though not common, opalotypes began being produced in 1857. The process exploited two basic techniques, using either the transfer of a carbon print onto glass, or the exposure of light-sensitive emulsion on the glass surface to the negative. "Milk glass positive" is another alternative term for an opalotype.

This particular image is of an unidentified Union officer wearing a dark frock coat with 1st Lieutenant shoulder straps, dark military vest and white shirt.

The image does have good clarity and contrast. The white background allows the facial features to stand out a bit better than on a tintype or ambrotype. Image has one small spot of discoloration off to one side but this is minor.

Brass mat is plain but for a border of dots around the edge of the oval cutout and the stamped brass frame has the usual scroll decoration. Mat and frame have some light wear.

Image is housed in a patriotic Union case with raised decoration of crossed cannons with pennants and spear with Liberty cap over a pyramid of cannonballs at center. This is flanked on either side by flowing US flags. There are patriotic shields in each lower corner, flanking two sprigs of laurel with a five-pointed star at center. The top edge has another patriotic shield flanked by branches of laurel leaves. The art work on the back panel is the same as the front.

The case does have some condition issues. The top brass hinge has separated from the front panel but is still attached at the rear. There is a small crack in the lower left shield on the front and some of the decoration on the rear panel has been rubbed away from excessive handling or rubbing during storage.

A rare type of photography not often encountered.  [AD]

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