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A splendid, half-plate tintype photograph of an even earlier folk art portrait of a young woman. My fashion expert dates the portrait to 1825 or 1830, I'm going to say the tintype was taken thirty or forty years later. Taking photographs of paintings was far more common than one may think. One of the powers of the tintype was their ability to be sent in the mail, and many a family portrait was photographed and shared. Additionally, because of floods, fires and mold, often a photo of a painting is all that remains.
This particular photograph was preserved in an album. I would like to hope the painting remains as well, but chances are probably slim. Look closely and you will see it had water spots on it already. At the top, directly above the figure, the pin used to hold the piece in place to be photographed is also seen.
Art historians and folk art collectors alike prize 19th century photographs of paintings, in particular when it may document a missing piece from an artist's body of work. I have not identified either the original artist or the photographer, certainly, and I suppose I never will. Suggestions as to the identity of the painter are welcome...maybe I got double-lucky!
Charming in either medium.
Half-plate Tintype of a Folk Art Portrait Circa 1860 Collection Jim Linderman
See also The Painted Backdrop: Behind the Sitter in American Tintype Photography 1860-1920