If a picture is worth a thousand words, then here's an entire 'book' of them. These nine antique 'photographs' are a striking collection of Victorian celluloid-topped tin 'button' portraits. The word 'button' belies the fact that they're much bigger than a button. Each measures about 6 inches across.
Most were made by the Columbia Portrait Co. of Chicago or Medallion Portrait Co. of New York. These were made to set on an easel or lay on a desktop. One of the buttons has a slit on the tin back indicating it once had its own wire easel attached.
The portraits are striking with incredible clarity and detail. Most are done in sepia tone. The elegant gent facing left is hand-tinted with color. You can see the antique Victorian jewelry, the amazing detailing in the clothing, and of course, you see the faces of another era. We sometimes look at old photos and are struck by how often those faces look just like someone we know. Back in the Victorian era, having a portrait like this of a loved one might have been the only image you had of that person.
A couple of the buttons show slight age wear around edge or might have a spot of soil but overall, the collection is in excellent condition. Hung on a wall, they make a dramatic photo gallery...a visual treat of beautiful people from another time.
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