Posed Woman Tintype

Photo 0012: Woman on Tintype

This is photo 0012: woman on tintype posed Infront of a back drop. There’s not much information about this photo other than what you can see in the photo. It was a gift from my dad. He picked it up at some antique shop somewhere. I’m willing to bet it came from Old Washington, Ky. My dad had just taken a trip there before he gave me the tintype. Before that there’s no telling where the photo came from.

What can we see in the photo?

As you can see this is a lady sitting in front of what I believe to be a hand painted backdrop. On the left side of the photo there’s hint of a small boat behind her shoulder. On the right side we see a stand of tall thin shaggy looking pine trees. on the background in the center we can see somewhat jagged mountains. If you look at her dress it seems like it’s very poofy and some what frilly around the neck line. she’s wearing a bow or some sort of small ribbon or hat. There’s also a black choker around her neck.

What does all of this tell us?

The backdrop alone makes me think that maybe this tintype is some some of the western states. The way the trees look and the mountain in the back ground make me think California. I have no evidence only a gut feeling about this.

The way the dress is styled has an 1880’s feel to it. The dress is puffy but it’s not 1870’s puffy. And it’s still very frilly. The ribbon on the hair also makes me think 1880’s after the time of big fluffy hats. But before the streamline hats of the 1890’s. Lets not forget the black choker. I’ve read that a black choker was a common identifier of prostitutes, if she is or isn’t a prostitute will probably never be known.

The location I think the photo was purchased Old Washington, Kentucky is not more than a couple of miles from the Ohio River. So maybe she was on a river boat. Maybe she was just passing though. Or maybe the Antique dealer picked the photo up on vacation and brought it back to Old Washington. Again we’ll most likely never know.


All this information is 100% speculation on this photo, but I’d love to hear your thoughts about the woman on the tintype. Where did she come from? What was her life like? Leave a comment about photo 0012: woman on tintype.

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