Ambrotype: Chronology--Mid-1860s

Figure 1.--This cased ambrotype shows two siblings, probably sisters, wearing dresses. Tbey look to be about 2-6 years old and have tinted cheeks. The portrait is undated, but the two 2 cent revenue stamps date it to 1864-66. The case has a red velvet interior. It is a small Ambro with a 3 x 3.5 inch case. The children have tinted cheeks. Click on the image to see the revenue stzmps on the back.

By the mid-60s we see far more CDVs than cased portraits like Ambros and Dags. With relatively rare exceptions, the mid-60s is the last time we see any number of ambrotypes. Ambros by the mid-1860s were increasingly replaced by negative photography and albumen prints--especially the cartes-de-visite (CDV). The fact that the Ambrotype was such a popular process from the mid-50s to the early 60s is useful to know in attempting to date these images. Ambrotypes were probably made after the very early 1860s, however, we believe that there were not many made in comparison to the number of CDVs. We no longer see large numbers of Anvtos by the mid-1860s. We do, however, see a few. One example is portraits of David Platt. White dated Ambros are rare, we do see several with Civil War revenue stamps meaning that they were taken during 1864-66. We note revenue totals of 3-4 cents which give a clue as to the cost of an ambro. Costs could vary depending on the size.


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Created: 1:55 AM 9/27/2016
Last updated: 1:55 AM 9/27/2016