Collection summary

I received three more daguerreotypes in the mail yesterday, and that inspired me to do a mini inventory of the daguerreotype and other cased images collection. Don’t take my collection as being statistically accurate as to the population of cased images out there, but the general trend is I think illustrative of the market in general.

1/9th Plate

  • One milk glass ambrotype in oval velvet pushbutton case
  • Two ambrotypes in gutta percha/thermoplastic cases
  • One daguerreotype in leather case
  • Two tintypes in half leather cases

1/6th Plate

  • Three daguerreotypes in half leather cases
  • Four daguerreotypes in gutta percha/thermoplastic cases
  • Twelve daguerreotypes in leather cases
  • Two ambrotypes in leather cases
  • One ambrotype in leather case
  • One ambrotype in gutta percha/thermoplastic frame
  • One ambrotype in brass mat, missing frame or case (most likely frame)
  • Four tintypes in leather cases

1/4 plate

  • One daguerreotype, missing case
  • One daguerreotype, in half leather case
  • Three daguerreotypes in leather cases
  • One ambrotype, in half leather case

1/2 plate

  • Two ambrotypes in leather cases

So, forty-two cased images altogether, with twenty-eight being 1/6th plate. Seventeen ambrotypes/tintypes, twenty-five daguerreotypes. Thirty-four in some form of leather case, seven in gutta percha/thermoplastic. I’m making a distinction between a half leather case and a whole leather case only from a collectors perspective – the half-cases are images whose cover was separated from the image at some point in time and not retained. Daguerreotypes are over-represented in the collection because that’s what I’ve made an effort to collect. There are probably more cased tins/ambros out there than daguerreotypes. 1/6th plate dominates, because that was the most common size produced. 1/9th plate is probably less uncommon than my collecting habit would indicate, again because of personal taste. The 1/4 plate and larger, though, are far less common. Prices have ranged from as little as free (one is an inherited piece) to $300 (which believe it or not was not one of the half plate images). Most have been in the $30-$150 range. Most images are by undocumented photographers of anonymous subjects, but perhaps four have the sitter identified, and I have one by Plumbe, two by Brady (although one of the Bradys may not be, as the case halves are different), one by Judson of Newark, NJ, one by Clark of New Brunswick, NJ, one by Kimball of New York, NY. One is from Argentina, the rest are American. One is allegedly Ulysses S. Grant’s niece. One is definitively dated 1849. Several others are probably older, including the Brady and Plumbe daguerreotypes, but most are from the 1850s.

On another date, at a different time, I’ll inventory the CDV/uncased image collection, which is much larger and more diverse.

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