Civil War Era Hand-Tinted Salt Paper Print of Woman in Green Dress

Civil War Era Hand-Tinted Salt Paper Print of Woman in Green Dress


This is a RARE and unusual paper photograph of a woman in a green dress with gold jewelry. If you were to look up this type of picture you would use the search terms salted paper prints or salt print.

This salt paper print is of a woman wearing a wonderful green dress, gold rings, beautiful earrings, and a white lace collar. She is in her original gold painted plaster of paris frame with most of the decorative design still intact. The design is a spray of flowers held together with a small ribbon with the fragments of the large ribbon at the top represented by the metal wire undercarriage.

These would have been prized possessions displayed in the 1860's homes of middle class families. This lady was from the Philadelphia area and is painted with the steady and artistic hand of W. N. Weightman. If you are a re-enactor or just love rare and unusual items from the Civil War era, this painting would make a wonderful addition to your collection.

Mounted on its original gilt-embossed sheet that is about 8 x 10 inches, it has the photographer's imprint at bottom: "Phot. by R. N. Keely, 5th & Coates St., Philada." and was hand-tinted by W. N. Weightman who was a well-known colorist in the mid 1800's. (The last picture in this listing is of the death notice of Mr. Weightman that is from The Times Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Oct 18, 1896.)

The picture itself measures 8" x 10".


Below is a description of the process used to make salt paper prints:

This type of photography (salted print process) was the first to create a positive image from a negative, allowing the picture to be easily reproduced by the photographer. The salted paper process was called “printing out" which means that the image was formed by light rather than developed with chemicals. Light-sensitive silver chloride was brushed onto the paper in a room with dark or subdued lighting and then a negative was directly pressed to the paper surface and then it was exposed to sunlight that produced the image. The next step in the procedture was to submerge the print in a salt bath that removed excess silver chloride and stop development. It was then rinsed under running water for fifteen minutes to remove the rest of the chemicals. 

The matte finish produced by this procedure allowed a colorist to add color to the picture through hand-tinting of the image. The signature of the colorist of this picture can be seen on the left side along her dress.

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