About Vintage Graphics

Image Catalogue

Gallery and Studios

Print Orders

Contact


A view of the cattle market at Alnwick in Northumberland (VP 099), reproduced here from an albumen print original. The best quality C19th photographs, usually recorded on half plate or whole plate glass negatives, often retain exceptional detail, as can be seen in this enlarged section.

About Vintage Photography

Our Vintage Photography section includes images sourced only from original prints, glass plates or negatives, ensuring that we maintain the highest possible quality and adhere as closely as we can to the characteristics of the original. However, since prints in particular are often damaged or scratched, we do digitally repair some images to restore them to original condition before we print an edition.

Although there are some notable exceptions, most of our Vintage Photography images originate from the latter half of the C19th, when photography was largely the preserve of professional practitioners, whose work tended to be of better quality than that of the enthusiastic amateurs who, with the advent of portable cameras, popularised photography in the early C20th.

The most frequently used print process in the C19th was the albumen print, the paper being pre-soaked in a solution of salt and egg white before being sensitized with a silver nitrate solution. The paper was then placed in a contact frame with the glass negative and exposed in sunlight for anything up to half an hour, before the resulting image could be fixed and washed. Original albumen prints have a characteristic yellowish-brown colour (often mistakenly thought to be 'sepia-toned') and fade easily if exposed to daylight.

Our collection includes examples of various other print methods, including silver prints, platinum prints, ambrotypes and tintypes, each of which has its own visual characteristics. We aim to ensure that our print editions match the quality and feel of the original as closely as possible.

 

Back to Catalogue