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Older framing styles for Ambrotype/glass plate images?

Discussion in 'Photography Issues' started by Daniel Smith, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. Daniel Smith

    Daniel Smith Grumbler

    Anyone know where I find information on how Ambrotype and glass plate images were frames when they were popular?
    Looking for a good way to frame and display the glass plate work and would like it to be close to what was done historically.
    Tintypes would be welcome as well - with framing. Not the small folios many used.
  2. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

  3. Daniel Smith

    Daniel Smith Grumbler

    The photographs of older images are OK. They don't tell whether you are looking at Ambrotypes, tintypes or what.
    Also don't show how they are fitted or held in place. That is the information I am looking for. How to keep glass plates in place without putting pressure on them, causing problems or cracking. How to frame glass plates so they stay and look very good.
  4. josephforthill

    josephforthill MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    In the antiques world, I have not often seen many of the glass format photographs framed - due to their fragile nature, the cases were the preferred method. Particularly for daguerreotypes and their ilk, do not remove from any original package unless you know what you are doing. That being said, I have seen some, for some reason, pairs or groups. These were in typical Victorian walnut or gilt frames, and if you can find ripple molding, so much the better. They were framed rather deeply, almost a shadowbox. As for tintypes, I have seen the later Victorian ones, typically larger, framed in whatever was the style when done, as well as what appeared to be "home made" frames.

    I would think a google search, or books on the subject, or web sites of antique photography auctions/dealers might provide more examples.

    FYI, my profile picture is a tintype I had done a couple years back (but I still look that handsome).
  5. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    All these kinds of historic photographic images are precious and very fragile. Even with the highest degree of preservation framing they may still fade away. Most belong in dark storage.

    One option to consider would be to scan, maybe restore, and frame the new print. Many more framing and sizing options.

    Here a sample I did a few years ago.


    Attached Files:

  6. Daniel Smith

    Daniel Smith Grumbler

    I am not looking to frame old glass plates. Newer work is what I am looking at. Ambrotypes framed would look good. Would like a good framing method that does not put edge pressure on the plates. Have been unsuccesful so far in finding historical framing methods.
    As for printing, I do it in the darkroom from glass plate negatives. Get a better 'feel' personally from this rather than digitizing the negatives.
  7. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    You can cut 2 mats each with an opening about 1/8" less than the plate and glue them back to back so the plate resides in the bevel. This would be a reverse bevel on both the back and the front so it sits in the V created between the two. Use dots of PVA glue around the perimeter so they can be opened as needed by popping the glue dots open. Depending the thickness you may need to go to 6 ply or 8 ply mat board to give the required gap in the V.

    Once it is in the mats any framing done will only create pressure on the outer edge of the mats and none on the plates themselves.

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