Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.



  • Date:

    19th Century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    collodion positive

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Also known as an ambrotype, the collodion positive was invented by F. Scott Archer in 1822, and was in widespread use by the mid-1850s. To produce a collodion positive, a sheet of glass is hand-coated with a thin film of collodion (guncotton dissolved in ether) containing potassium iodide, and sensitised to the light with silver nitrate to create a collodion negative. The back is then painted black or covered with a piece of dark cardboard or cloth in order to achieve the effect of a positive image.

This collodion positive shows a bust length portrait of a man, contained in a gilt frame with an oval window.

Physical description

Bust length portrait of a man in gilt metal frame. Rectangular frame with oval window.


19th Century (made)



Materials and Techniques

collodion positive


Height: 82 mm frame, Width: 62 mm frame, Diameter: 52 mm print

Descriptive line

Mount Stamped: Cooke and Emerson's patent applied for, Providence R.I.; Anon. Portrait of a man, oval, bust length


Collodion processes




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.