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History, Conservation, and Repair The history of photographic prints, and how best to care for and repair them.

And more help needed in dating images

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Old 01-13-2010, 06:44 PM
Cliff. Johnston Cliff. Johnston is offline
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And more help needed in dating images

I received a request for help in dating a couple of images. Any and all help will be appreciated.

http://www.pbase.com/image/121072267

http://www.pbase.com/image/121072253

Thank you!

Cliff.
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:26 AM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: And more help needed in dating images

They appear to be colorized hand sketches. As was often the case, no background imagery is included, which leaves us with few clues. Not all photographers were well off enough to always shoot film. Many made a good living sketching and coloring. Again, the images were almost always of just the subject, as no-one wanted to pay for the other stuff. These artists lived for a very long time, making nailing down when yours was done very nearly impossible.

You may have better luck with some forensic testing. Try to reveal a date or name off the back using either a.) non-invasive techniques like UV or near Infrared light; or b.) gently applying certain know reagents to the back of the image to reveal a signature or date.


There are local conservators in most major cities that can help with these techniques.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:21 AM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: And more help needed in dating images

My guess based on this article : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1870s_in_fashion 1873-1876 for the man (necktie, wing collar, and mutton chops)

(scroll to the bottom for other fashion dates)
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:13 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: And more help needed in dating images

OlBaldy, that is a good reference/link. The only problem I've had with dating based upon clothing is two-fold:
1. Styles took much longer back then to migrate across the oceans, and within countries. What was popular in Europe in 1812, may not reach America until 1820. Then, the styles were adopted quickly in larger eastern cities, but took another 5 years to reach the west coast... even longer to reach the poorer rural states/counties. Heck, my great grandfather was so stingy, he would wear the same stuff for 40 years, and could care less what they were doing in the "big city".
2. Not likely in this case, but it was popular to "dress up" for a picture, with the clothes provided by the photographer. Just as we do today, dress up in very old clothes to make a fake older photo. It was done back then as well. I have a nice picture of my grandfather, all decked out in vintage shirt, jacket and hat, posing with a rather bizarre looking cowboy. You can never be quite sure if what you see is real, even back then. Go figure !
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