Maureen Taylor, photo detective, helped me with a couple of photos a few years ago. The other day I bought her book, Family Photo Detective.
The book gives a good overview of many topics associated with identifying old family photographs. I haven’t read it all yet, but I did read certain sections because of various questions I already have in my mind.
In my post Mysterious Antique Photographs I posted a painted metal photograph which is unidentified. I believe it is from the Remine family. Although it can seem that the Remines are very distantly related, in fact, Richard DeKorn’s mother was a Remine:
The consensus seems to be that the photo below (of an unidentified Remine female) is a tintype.
However, according to Taylor, a painted photo like this would be a daguerreotype which is painted on its metal surface with colored powders which are brushed or gently blown.
One of the characteristics of a daguerreotype over a tintype is that the image needs to be viewed from an angle. Another important characteristic is a mirror-like surface. I had to pull out the original to examine it for these traits.
It’s impossible to tell if the image needs to be viewed from an angle because the image is so thoroughly painted. But the background is not mirror-like, but rather a matte dark gray with a slight texture.
I went to the internet about this mystery and discovered a site that showcases some hand-painted tintypes. Unfortunately, after 45 years, The Ames Gallery in Berkeley is closing this year. I wonder what will happen to their photographs. Click the name of the gallery to see the painted tintypes.
I think we were right that this is a tintype that has been painted. In fact, the painting is so well done that her face is very realistic. Years ago, I used to work with gold leaf, embossing leather and vinyl products, and I suspect that the jewelry has been painted with gold-leaf.
It’s frustrating that I have not had the time to work on the photos and genealogy for many months (for the most part), but I like to keep moving along, getting one little thing after another accomplished so I don’t lose my touch haha.
Without a doubt, this is the most beautiful photograph in the whole collection.
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