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Peter Balen 1850's photograph

This photograph of a handsome boy is identified as Peter Balen.

The image is from the mid 1850's and is a daguerreotype ( on silver).
This mode of photography was replaced in the early 1860's by the ambrotype ( on glass) and the carte de visite ( on paper, via a negative).

Daguerreotypes and ambrotypes had no negatives, so each is one of a kind.

I purchased him at auction as I thought he had interesting features and was identified.

There was no place to write the name of the sitter in these "cased views" unless, as in this one, a sticker was attached to the velvet side.

Therefore, most dags and ambros are unidentified.


  1. Oh I have a couple of those with the red velvet inside, I'll look them over real good since you described them so well
    I use to have several years ago when they were so reasonable priced then I sold them when I got tired of them. I will not let go of the ones I have now, I learned my lesson to be them LOL
    I miss the antique auctions near me

  2. Hi Marshel, I have been enjoying your antique posts, always so informative! Wish I lived close to the Antique Mall where you have a booth! I have 1 ambrotype and 5 daguerreotypes, only one identified and is my great great grandfather. One is a Civil War soldier, one a Rodriguez Molina type, and one of them has the cutest case, it has Mary And her lamb embossed on the front. Now will you keep yours or try to find the family and get it back to them? I like that you always try and identify your painting and photos.
    Happy New Year to you!

  3. Oops, forgot the one I have of my third Great Grandma taken during the Civil war too! :)


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