Object of the Month: A Negative on Glass Plate

A delicious genre study!

In 2023, we received a bundle of 118 negatives on glass plates of various sizes in a dusty cardboard box. The box was found in the Charente region of France. The pictures show portraits of soldiers in uniform, aerial views of Paris, but above all scenes from the life of a middle-class family and coastal landscapes, presumably in Brittany.



The selected motif is on a 13 x 18 cm glass plate, the lower part of which shows severe damage due to the detachment of the photosensitive layer (still collodion? already dry plate?). The three people depicted can be found in many of the pictures in the collection. Presumably we see the grandfather and grandmother of the extended family playing cards with their daughter.

The interior is photographically well composed as a backlit shot with a view out of the window. On the left of the picture, the reflection in a mirror offers another perspective on the two women. The room is decorated with an indoor palm tree, ornamental porcelain and a wrought-iron hanging lamp, suggesting that it was taken around 1900. 

A delicious genre study!