Friday, November 20, 2009

trouvée: a gem

Another find from Michigan, c. 1865. Uninscribed ~ though I was able to date it based on an embossed patent mark along the right edge (which I couldn't read until I scanned it at a high resolution!). This tintype, which measures approximately 1 x 3/4 inches, is what was known as a "Little Gem." These tiny portraits were inexpensive and convenient, made with a camera which utilized 9 to 16 lenses to create multiple identical images on a single plate. The plate was then cut down, providing the sitter with a handful of photographs that could be distributed to others. The tintype became particularly popular during the Civil War, not only because of its low cost (literally pennies), but because it was on developed metal ~ making it easy for a soldier to tuck an image of his loved one into his pocket without harm.

Some more gems:

* mounted on card
* and tucked into albums

And a sad passing: Jeanne-Claude, who lived a life filled with creativity and love.

Have a good weekend...!


little augury said...

great info-I have a couple of these and didn't know its orgins. la

My Notting Hill said...

Striking! I clicked on it for a larger view - the woman pictured is beautiful.

Janet said...

Michelle ~ she is lovely in a quiet way. I am glad you noticed!