SIXTH PLATE TINTYPE OF ARMED US INFANTRYMAN

$250.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1043-250

A good “two-thirds standing” tintype of an armed Union infantryman. Part of the charm of Civil War photographs is their occasional use of incongruous studio painted backdrops for their military subjects. In this case the photographer had a painted countryscape that seems to be viewed from the porch of elegant mansion: a fancy balustrade is painted along the foreground. Off to the left is what seems to be a large stone country-house, with horse and rider in the landscape. To the right an arched bridge crosses a river and sailboat are visible at bottom.

Our subject in the meantime stands next to a small parlor chair, posing at attention in an enlisted man’s frock coat, about to set off to war. His coat trim has been delicately tinted light blue to indicate service in the infantry, and seems to have been newly issued, given that the cuffs come down rather far over his hands. He wears a regulation US oval belt plate and a cap box with square front, indicating where are looking at an early-war image. He also wears a cartridge box shoulder belt with regulation round eagle plate and holds his rifle with shoulder sling and fixed bayonet at his side. His trousers a lighter, certainly the regulation sky-blue, and he wears forage cap that seems to have two small blurred numerals on its forward edge.

The photographer has lightly tinted the background, the soldier’s checks, and piping, and lightly gilded his buttons and breast plate. The glass, frame and mat are in place. There is one hair-width line crossing his nose, otherwise no stains or crackling to the emulsion. Armed images are not common. Officers were not about to let many men out of camp with their weapons.  [SR]

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