Finding Art Value in Photographica

Finding Art Value in Photographica

Most people are not aware of the tremendous surge of ART VALUE in antique and modern photographs. $100,000 photographs are common at auction and privately several photographs have been sold for over one million dollars.

The Chicago Appraisers Association was the first photograph appraiser in the country. On our staff, we have the former associate editor of Graphic Antiquarian magazine, the world’s first publication about collecting photographs. We have been consultants to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, George Eastman House, etc. We have discovered for clients unknown Lincoln photographs, the first photograph of the American West, the first American archeological photograph, the earliest known American paper photograph portrait and the earliest known American paper photograph even pre-dating Talbot’s discovery in England. We also discovered the earliest photograph of Chicago and wrote the definitive reference on the history of Chicago photography.

No other appraiser can boast of over 40 years experience in the field.

Photographica is divided into two areas:

Hard Images – Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, autochromes, orotones, negatives.

Must be well documented, unusual subject; not just a portrait of an ancestor.

Soft Images – paper photographs.

Must be “vintage prints” to bring big money and printed by the photographer approximately when they took the negatives, not decades later.

Subjects Most in Demand

Famous People Pre-Civil War Portraits of Blacks
Famous Photographers City Views
Early Outdoor Scenes Gold Rush Scenes
Western Material Historical Events
Artistic Compositions Indians
Occupational Portrait Lincoln
Civil War Soldiers

Types of Antique and Modern Photographs

  1. Albumen print – paper treated with egg white, salt and sensitized with silver nitrate. 1858-1880.
  2. Ambrotype – image on glass with opaque black paint, paper or cloth backing. Brass frame in small leather or gutta percha case. 1858-1865.
  3. Autochrome – first photograph, printed on glass to be held up to light or projector to view. Early 20th century.
  4. Bromoil Print – printed on plain paper and manipulated with inks. Particularly popular with pictorialists. Early 20th century.
  5. Calotype – a paper print was used to make a paper photograph. Circa 1841-1848.
  6. Carbon Print – paper coated with pigmented gelatin. Turn of the 20th century.
  7. Cibachrome Print – modern color positive to positive reversal process of three color emulsion layers on paper. Late 20th century.
  8. Cyanotype – paper print process that turns bright blue. 19th-20th century.
  9. Daguerreotype – mirror image on a silver plated copper. Unique and fragile. First practical photograph. Circa 1839-1856.
  10. Gelatin Silver print – paper photograph containing silver salts. 20th century.
  11. Gum-Bichromate print – paper print coated with gum Arabic and pigment. 20th century.
  12. Orotone – glass plate positive with gold painted on the reverse. Early 20th century.
  13. Photogram – unique print without use of camera. Objects placed on paper to form negative images.
  14. Photogravure – a photomechanical process printed from a copper plate. 19th-20th century.
  15. Platinum print – paper coated with platinum and iron salts to achieve a soft grey. 1873-1930’s.
  16. Salt print – the earliest form of paper photographs. Usually brown color. 1840-1850.
  17. Sterogram – cardboard mount holding two similar images to place in a special viewer. Very common, but Civil War period very rare.
  18. Tintype – first inexpensive form of photograph. Printed on thin sheet of iron. Very common.
  19. Wax paper negative – invented in 1851, mainly used in Europe. 1860-1895.
  20. Collodion negative – light brown glass negative. 1860-1880.

Minimum fee $125.00

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Our extensive file of Lincoln photos showed the President sat for a portrait where numerous exposures were taken. Each was slightly different. When you place these together in a video, it appears as if Lincoln is in front of you and moving. Obviously Lincoln never posed for a motion picture, but this is the closest you can come to seeing him alive.