19th Century Photography   Paul Frecker London

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The internet has become an important medium in which to buy and sell photographic images. However, a scan can only give a potential buyer an idea of whether or not an image is appealing. It cannot compare with the experience of seeing and handling the actual photograph. A photograph is an object and it has a physical presence which is not conveyed on a website. For this reason, no sales are final, and if you find that your new acquisition does not match your expectations when it arrives, I offer a full, unconditional refund, less the cost of postage.

Although grading is a subjective activity, every effort has been made to describe as accurately and as fully as possible the condition of all the images for sale on this website. Where foxing is present I will always mention it. Similarly, I will also draw your attention to any abrasions, scratches, stains or any other deterioration which has occurred in the condition of the image. Whenever relevant, the nature and condition of the mount will also receive attention in the description. Buyers should be aware that a scan does not always reflect the tonal range of an image as accurately as one would wish. Sometimes the scan may appear to have a wider tonal range than the original. Similarly, on occasions, the original may actually have a better tonal range than the scan. Please read all descriptions carefully to see if either of these is in fact the case.


In descending order of desirability, the terms used to describe condition are as follows: Mint, Near Mint, Excellent, Very Fine, Fine, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.
[I will very rarely describe an image as being either Mint or Near Mint.]


Unless otherwise stated it should be assumed that the approximate measurements of the following items are:


Usually an image measuring 3.75" x 2.37" (9.5 cm x 6 cm) supported on a mount measuring 4.2" x 2.5" (10.4 cm x 6.4 cm).

Cabinet prints

Usually an image measuring 5.75" x 4" (14.5 cm x 10 cm) supported on a mount measuring 6.5" x 4.25" (16.5 cm x 10.75 cm).


There is a slight variation in the sizes of stereoviews. An average stereoview from the 1860's might consist of two images measuring 3.2" x 2.9" (7.4 cm x 8 cm) side by side on a mount measuring 3.3" x 6.9" (8.5 cm x 17.5 cm).


During the 1840's and later, silver-plated copper plates were commercially produced for making daguerreotypes. The largest size ordinarily available, from which the others were derived, was the full plate, measuring 8.5" x 6.25" (21.6 cm x 16.5 cm). Next was the half-plate, 5.5" x 4.25" (.8 cm x 10.8 cm). The most common size, the quarter plate, was 4.25" x 3.25" (10.8 cm x 8.3 cm), and the sixth plate, sometimes called the medium plate, was 3.25" x 2.75" (8.3 cm x 7 cm). Ninth and sixteenth plates were less frequently used. When glass plates came into use, a parallel nomenclature developed. However, since many images actually fall between these guidelines, measurements of ambrotypes will always be given in full.

Other formats

For the measurements of all images listed in 'Other Formats' please refer to the description, where the dimensions will be given both in inches and in centimetres, in each case the vertical being the first given. The relative sizes of the scans can be misleading, so please pay particular attention to the measurements.

ambrotypes      stereoviews      cartes-de-visite      cabinet prints      other formats      male nudes     

© Paul Frecker London 2003