What is an Ambrotype?
An ambrotype photograph, is an image actually on glass, it was produced as a wet collodion positive on glass which was slightly bleached and made appear by placing something black behind it, paint, velvet etc. It was a slightly cheaper photograph than a daguerreotype which it replaced. They were first created in England in 1851 by Frederick Scott Archer and Peter Fry and named ambrotype by the Philadelphian photographer Marcus Root in 1854. The sizes were the same as the daguerreotype and the image produced was unique and reversed. They were sold in the 1850s for 6d or 1/-. Though replaced by the less expensive cartes-de-visite some were still being produced in the early 1860s.
Using the same case as a daguerreotype, the ambrotype was sealed inside a wooden case or a frame with a bright brass mount and under glass. The case was usually provided with a hinged lid and covered with leather or similar and some American cases were moulded using shellac with wood-fibre and gum and known as a Union case. The cases should not be taken apart or interfered with in any way.(SOURCE: http://www.rogerco.freeserve.co.uk/type/ambrotype.htm)
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