SIXTH PLATE RUBY AMBROTYPE OF A UNION CAPTAIN AS OFFICER OF THE DAY

$350.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1054-2323

This delicately tinted ruby ambrotype shows a Union captain from the knees up, seated, wearing an officer’s slouch hat with a narrow brim, gauntlets, cradling his officer’s sword. The officer is clean-shaven and appears older than many, likely in his forties. His officer’s hat cord is partly visible and he wears a wonderful set of large military gauntlets. The shoulder belt with small buckle of his sword belt is visible and he wears his sash across his shoulder, indicating that when the photo was taken he was acting as Officer-of-the-Day, a rotating position in charge of the running the camp or garrison, conducting guard mount, supervising guards, police and fatigue details, etc. The photographer has delicately tinted his sash and his cheeks red. He also tinted his buttons, the bullion borders of his shoulder straps, and sword guard, but not sloppily so. The focus and clarity of the image are exceptional. He cradles a non-regulation officer’s sword modeled on two French patterns bearing an elaborately worked pommel, backstrap and counterguard that is often seen furnished by American importers such as Evans and Hassel. There are only a couple of spots of very minor emulsion wear near the border of the oval mat at upper left. The image is housed in an exceptional thermoplastic figural case bearing a wreath and star border with American eagle and flags at top, with four stars in an inner panel surrounding a portrait bust of Washington surrounded by the motto, “First in war. First in peace. First in the hearts of his countrymen.” Washington is shown without uniform and at bottom lie his sword and sword belt with a scrolled document and seals, a symbol of his returning his commission and laying down his sword at the end of the war rather assuming a dictatorial role. The design is on both sides of the case, and in very good condition with crisp detail. We see only a little chipping on the side of the case at the recess for the spring clasp.

This is a exceptionally nice image and case.  [sr]

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