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The photograph is a 1/9-plate, either an early tintype or possibly an ambrotype--it would be hard to tell without removing it from the case, which looks like it has never been disturbed. Either way, this is a one-of-a-kind item, as neither of those processes used a negative.
The case itself is made of flexible leather, embossed with a diamond pattern, which folds over and closes with a very unusual sliding clasp. It measures two by three inches when closed. The leather shows surface wear, but is intact at the hinges--very solid and no torn places. It is quite nice to hold in your hand.
Inside is a padded ivory-colored silk panel on the left and the photo on the right, enclosed under an ornate brass frame, preserver, and glass pane. The glass is very dirty on the underside, but the surface of the photograph appears to be in good shape: no scratches and very little dirt.
My best guess on a date is 1855-1867.
This would be a unique and special gift for your hirsute sweetheart. Or put him on your shelf, like my mom did, and claim him as an "instant ancestor"!
Give me women, wine, and snuff
Untill I cry out "hold, enough!"
You may do so sans objection
Till the day of resurrection:
For, bless my beard, they aye shall be
My beloved Trinity.
► MORE PHOTOS OF THIS ITEM:
Available on request!
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