Original U.S. Civil War Sixth Plate Tintype of Armed Federal Soldier
Original Item: Only One Available. Everything about this image, including its presentation, makes it a splendid memento of the Civil War. This Civil War cased "Sixth Plate" (2.75 x 3.25 inch) tin type portrait shows an unidentified solider. He wears a standard nine-button frock coat of northern Federal or Union issue, although we are not sure if it is a U.S. Army or state militia uniform. The belt buckle may read OVM (upside down) which would indicate that it is a Ohio Volunteer Militia (OVM) Belt Plate. He is holding a sword which, based on its shap and the scabbard attached to his belt, appears to be a Model 1840 U.S. NCO Sword by Ames.
The image is behind glass held in an ornate brass mat loaded with intricate designs edging the tintype. A gutta-percha case molded front and back with decorative designs completes the piece. Interior of the case is lined in velvet type material and the case locks function but the hinge seam has long since separated.
The tintype enjoys excellent surfaces with only slight emulsion crazing that do not interfere with image is viewed head on. Overall very nice condition.
Tintypes, originally known as or ferrotypes or melainotypes, were invented in the 1850s and continued to be produced into the 20th century. The photographic emulsion was applied directly to a thin sheet of iron coated with a dark lacquer or enamel, which produced a unique positive image. Like the ambrotype, tintypes were often hand-colored. Customers purchased cases, frames, or paper envelopes to protect and display their images.
Primarily used for portraiture, each photo is a unique camera-exposed image and was available in the following standard-sizes. The most common size was the sixth plate.
- Imperial or Mammoth Plate - Larger than 6.5 x 8.5 inches
- Whole Plate - 6.5 x 8.5 inches
- Half Plate - 4.25 x 5.5 inches
- Quarter Plate - 3.25 x 4.25 inches
- Sixth Plate - 2.75 x 3.25 inches
- Ninth Plate - 2 x 2.5 inches
- Sixteenth Plate - 1.5 x 1.75 inches
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