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My mystery opalotype

My mystery opalotype

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My story starts 30 years ago when I bought what I thought was an "etching" on milk glass! I was and still am very much a novice when it comes to old photos,but in the last year have honed my knowledge trying to solve my little mystery.

Although the art was in good shape,the overall piece had some issues. The backing which probably held all the information on the piece was missing. No signatures or marks to be found. The front original protective glass was gone also,but after given a price I could not refuse plus the fact I really liked the piece, I bought the piece in spite of it's handicaps!

It wasn't until about 3 years ago with the growth of inter-net resources that I finally started to research the piece.Everything about the piece intrigued me~The detail~the subject matter~The simple frame with the wooden mat~The removed backing~

I solved the easy battle first.while going over the piece with a magnifying glass looking for a signature or mark,I kept getting metallic silver reflections off the line work!!! An old photo process??and soon my searches led me to opalotypes!

But a few mystery's still remain~~

Why would someone remove the backing? there is no way of knowing when this happened~But you can plainly see at one point there was a backing on the piece??Did whoever think it could have some value??

The Framing~First~The opalotype itself is about 4.5x6.5in~frame size is roughly 8x10in~Most of the framed examples I have seen are much more ornate,suggesting to me an earlier/older piece??? It is a wooden mat,and the edge has been painted gold~simple  plain wooden frame.

Subject matter~Obviously a picture of art work or illustration work??most examples are portraits or landscapes~Was the original a colored piece?? Almost looks like an illustration from a kids book?? An art reproduction for a magic lantern??

I have spent many,many,many hours now trying to give my little piece some provenance~But unable to find comparable's ~or pin-point the art work??

But I keep trying~~~~And due to our great economy these days,might have to consider selling the piece~

I would at least like to know the story behind it before I do~~

As said in the beginning,still very novice at this,so would be grateful for any ideas~search suggestions~and help!! All the pictures are recent(within the last month) and have larger file pictures if anyone's interested.

Thanks in advance~

That's my story~~~

 

Tags: it's, glass, years, fact, piece, bought, inter-net, growth, handicaps, wasn't, price, protective, refuse, spite

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"I paint what cannot be photographed, that which comes from the imagination or from dreams, or from an unconscious drive."

Man Ray
American Artist and Photographer
1890–1976


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