A Selection of Experimental Ambrotypes c.1856
FREDERICK SCOTT ARCHER (?) (1813-1857) Ambrotypes, (13), a collection of experimental outdoor portrait studies of Children (11), one image of an elderly Gentleman (1), and a previously unknown portrait, most likely of Frederick Scott Archer himself, the inventor of the wet plate collodion photographic process. Plate sizes approx. 90 x 90mm or slightly smaller, with contemporary paperbacks and taped edges, three examples with notes regarding exposure and process in an unknown hand, pencil verso; "Effect of oblique .... light, Eleven O'clock A.M", "Effect of direct sunlight Midday", "Effect of Evening light"
We can surmise that the images were taken during the English summertime, from the levels of visible vegetation in the garden backgrounds of some images. The portrait of Archer (?), with sunken eyes and looking tired and thin, could well be indicative of a man suffering from hereditary cystic liver disease, for which he eventually lost his battle in the spring of 1857.
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