Fake ambrotypes forged on plasticBy

Fake ambrotypes forged on plastic

A new generation of faked ambrotypes have been seen in the market. Photographic image specialist Wesley Cowan of Historical Americana Auction examined a faked ambrotype of George A. Custer.

The forgery was created on a piece of plastic coated with photographic emulsion. Cowan discovered it was a fake only after removing the image from its case and frame. Cowan said if the image were original it would be worth $3,000-$5,000.

Authentic ambrotypes are early photographic images on glass used primarily 1855-1865. Sheets of glass were coated with collodion and silver nitrate and placed in the camera wet. The plate was then exposed to the subject. Developing the glass plate produced a faint negative image of the subject. The back of the glass plate was then lacquered or blocked with a metal plate to produce a positive image.