I am always on the lookout for old and unusual photographic memorabilia to add to my collection.
This week I was fortunate to discover two interesting finds on TradeMe.
The first is a set of two glass slides from the early 1900s. These are slides as opposed to glass negatives. The image is printed on celluloid and sandwiched between two pieces of glass, much like slides of later eras that most my generation and older are familar with, and are also now obsolete.
The colour slide is interesting as this is an example of hand-colouring of the time, which was done with special photographic inks and a brush. Unfortunately I don't have the right equipment to scan these slides properly so some of the detail is lost.
According to the seller the images were taken in the region of Rotorua in New Zealand and the young girl was known as Polly and was a guide taking visitors to the region to see the great New Zealand wilderness. Rotorua is known for its thermal springs. I will restoring and colouring the image of Polly, so keep an eye out on Facebook and Instagram to see the results.
My second acquistion was of a badly-neglected Edwardian family photo.
I got no information from the seller and there were no inscriptions anywhere on the mounting to say who these beautiful people were. The only information was the photographer's mark in the lower righthand corner of the frame.
The seller didn't even attempt to wipe off any of the dirt and the picture arrived with still with a layer of dust, mold, cobwebs and other debri. Other than a torn piece off the young gentleman's jacket and general staining and dust damage, the photo itself is still in pretty good condition.
From the looks of the mounting board, the picture had also suffered damp and water damage. It must have been left forgotten in an attic, basement or garage and I feel so sorry for the family in the picture. They were someone's ancestors and to have been treated with such disregard... It's so sad. Still, I have rescued them and I will love them.
I cleaned the image and mounting board before scanning the image. I will restore and colour this one as well, so keeping watching my social media for updates. I have sealed the back of the mounting board with acrylic to prevent further mold growth and am framing the original image to take pride of place in the office so that this unknown family may receive the respect they deserve.
Posted: Mon 22 Mar 2021