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19th-century photos & sampler

19th-century photos & sampler

Posted: 26 Feb 2009 10:43PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Dobson
I am hoping that someone with knowledge of 19th-century photography and female fashion might be able to tell me something about two of my family's treasures. One I think might be a daguerreotype: it is of my great-great-grandmother Fanny Dobson of Colne, probably dated around 1851. The photograph is on glass set in a tooled leather case lined with red velvet. The case measures 8 cm x 9.5 cm. The other is a sampler stitched by her at the age of 14 in 1847 measuring 58 cm x 63 cm
Fanny's father, Joseph seems to have had a chequered career. As a young man he was a handloom weaver but by 1851 he is describing himself as a cotton manufacturer then a linen dealer, commercial traveller, tripe dealer and draper. By 1861 he appears to have more or less abandoned his family and gone to live in Oldham. The family he left behind were certainly not rich: most of the women worked in the mills and the men were soldiers, butchers and labourers. Yet it appears to me that for a period in the 1840s and 50s they were very well off indeed.

Any information on the photograph, the sampler, the dress Fanny is wearing, and what they say about her circumstances would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Sue
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Re: 19th-century photos & sampler

Posted: 19 Nov 2012 2:31AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Dobson
Hi Sue,I am researching my husband's family, his grandmother was Frances Annie Dobson, 3rd child of Harry Robinson Dobson,son of Robinson Dobson. Frances married Joseph Willan and they migrated to Australia in 1912. I would love to hear from you could you let me know your current e-mail address?I do have some photos of Frances and Joseph Willan.Kind regards Gail Willan

Re: 19th-century photos & sampler

Posted: 20 Nov 2012 1:43PM GMT
Classification: Query
The photo is probably an ambrotype. The presentation of a daguerreotype and an ambrotype was the same -- both were enclosed under glass in a case to protect the fragile photographic emulsion. A daguerreotype will produce silvery mirror-like reflections when viewed at an angle. The ambrotype is a negative image on glass with a dark backing to make it appear as a positive image.

Based on the mat and the clothing, I would date it 1855 to 1860. The ambrotype was not commonly produced as early as 1851. An article on dating ambrotypes is http://www.phototree.com/id_amb.htm
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