Tuesday, 13 October 2015

A Gallery of Victorian Era Hand Tinted Photographs


W.K. Munro Studio,
Edinburgh c.1875-1884
[From my own collection]

In the days before before early colour photographic processes were perfected, and without the current ability to colourize black and white images in Photoshop, many photographic studios made an effort to highlight their photographs by means of manual hand tinting. Some efforts are better than others but the end result probably comes down to the experience and talent of the photographic artist and how much extra the customer was willing to pay for this additional service.

These Victorian era carte-de-visite and ambrotype (glass) photos have each been delicately hand tinted or have had features highlighted for effect. Soluble colour dyes were preferred over water colours as transparency and image detail would not be compromised.

The first four images are from my own collections with the rest being from the Australian Dougall family collection. The latter have been used with the permission of the custodian of these images, Mr Dick Dougall of Franklin, Tennessee, USA. Please credit this site if copying images.


A glass ambrotype, c.1858
[From my own collection]

A glass Ambrotype of my Great Great Grandmother, taken in Edinburgh, circa 1858. Her bonnet is highlighted in red with her gold ring picked out in gold. This image has been digitally highlighted due to lack of contrast but remains true to the original.



Margaret Watson, c.1860
Margaret Watson, c.1860














Mrs Margaret Watson (née Frame) of Crossford, Lanarkshire, Scotland, from my own collection. Taken circa 1860. The low contrast image on the left shows how the gold highlighting on her brooch and ring stand out on the original glass ambrotype. Click on image for larger view.


An Unknown young woman,
"Sharp" photo, Low Patrick Street,
Hamilton, c.1870's.
[From my own collection]

A simple highlight of what appears to be some kind of ribbon around her neck and down her back and with her brooch and earrings picked out in gold paint.


[Dougall Collection]

This Russian photographer from St Petersburg has used a small amount of rouge tinting on the cheeks and lips of the above unknown young man.


[Dougall Collection]

This unidentified tinted image is from the photographic studio of David Wood of Emerald Hill, Melbourne, Australia.


[Dougall Collection]

A not terribly convincing effort in tinting from Bardwell's Royal Studio, Ballarat, Australia. Note the lady's belt buckle and brooch have also been highlighted in gold.   



Mrs Mary Dougall née Hamilton,
Wallan Wallan, Victoria, Australia
[Dougall Collection]

A reasonably credible effort from the "West End Portrait Parlours" of Hotham, Melbourne, Australia.


Mrs Mary Dougall née Hamilton,
Wallan Wallan, Victoria, Australia
[Dougall Collection]

Another "take" on the previous image from the "West End Portrait Parlours" of Hotham, Melbourne, Australia.



[Dougall Collection]

Rouge tint on the cheeks and gold paint on the brooch, necklace and earrings from the photographic studio of E.E. Hibling of Melbourne, Australia.



[Dougall Collection]

A somewhat bizarre application of rouge on the cheeks and lips and a vibrant red cover on the book lying on the table. From the photographic studio of Stewart & Co. of Melbourne, Australia.



[Dougall collection]

A rather 'vibrant' but probably reasonably true to life colourization from the photographic studio of David Wood of Emerald Hill, Ballarat, Australia.  


Thomas Dougall,
Wallan Wallan, Victoria,
Australia
[From my own collection]

A very subtle application of rouge on the face and lips to give the portrait a warm tone. From the photographic studio of Yeoman & Co. of Chapel Street, Prahran, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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