The very nice Tintype photo on the inside of this piece depicts a handsome gentleman but it is the outer case that is the “show stopper”. The case is covered in a burgundy colored velvet material and has a brass hinge and brass push-peg opening device. Mounted in a brass frame and set into the top is a carved Mother-of-Pearl (MOP) cameo of a gorgeous lady. Her wavy hair is pulled back into a double-layered “bun” style hairdo with a loose segment of hair which falls over her shoulder and trails down her back. This hair style was poplar in the 1860s. Additionally, there is a cross-banded hair ornament that sits on the top of her head. The lady has a very sweet, delicate face and she wears a simple V-neck dress.

When you open the case you see a handsome mustachioed young man with slicked-back hair that covers his ears and the nape of his neck. He is dressed in formal attire with white shirt and a smart-looking bowtie. A wonderful thing about this photo is the very ornate Rococo Revival chair he is sitting on, ornamented with heavy scrolls and curves, confirming the 1860 time period of the tintype. The photo is covered with glass and is surrounded by a gilt metal, rope-like frame. The inside of the cover has an ivory colored satin lining.

SIZE: Case: 2 5/8” (h) x 2 1/8” (w); Framed Cameo: 1 7/8” (h) x 1 ½” (w).

MARKS: Apparently None.

CONDITION: Some wear around the edges of the velvet on front and back. Two tiny pinholes are visible on the satin on the inside of the cover, where something was apparently pinned. The case opens and closes smoothly. The Cameo and Tintype are in great condition. I have not cleaned the MOP cameo because I liked the patina which helps show the detailed carving of the beautiful lady. It would clean up easily though if that would be your desire. This is an outstanding presentation of both case and tintype, and not something to pass up. I couldn’t pass it up. Can you?

Historical Background on Tintypes and other 19th Century Photography:
Tintypes were made from 1855 through the turn of the century. They were created using a photographic emulsion which was coated onto black-painted tin and then exposed. Early tintypes are sometimes found in cases, as this one is; but, since they weren’t as fragile as either Daguereotypes, which were printed on silver and subject to tarnish, and Ambrotypes, printed on black painted glass and subject to peeling paint and turning dark, tintypes were later left loose or placed in albums like modern-day photos might be.


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JG Gallery

Tintype Photo of Young Man, in Case with MOP Cameo, C.1860


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    since 2014

    JG Gallery

    Joyce Geeser
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    Rockford , IL This Shop is rated Gold - 100 or more sales Gold Ruby Lane Exclusive since 2014

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