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Ambrotype - Photograph or Photograph of a painting?

Hi,

I recently added an ambrotype of St Mary's Church Alderley Cheshire to my collection. The glass plate it is on is 2 3/4 by 3 1/4 inches mounted with a matt within a gutta purcha frame. Written on the back is simply Alderly Church. The church is situated opposite the site of the company where I worked for the best part of thirty years in Nether Alderley. A scan of the ambrotype is attached.   Acording to an entry in  Wikipedia the ambrotype shows the church before the chancel was rebuilt in 1856, they show a drawing which is similar and is also attached.What I am trying to find out is if my ambrotype is an actual photograph of the church or a photograph of a painting. I can't make my mind up. The ambrotype appears to show a blurred figure bottom left and flying birds above the building, the sky seems odd.

As yet I haven't shown it to any body at the church.

Does anybody have any thoughts on the matter? 

Thanks

Nigel Richards 

 

 

 

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Quite apart from the striations in the sky mentioned by David, the depth of contrast in the image, the nature of the deep shadows, the shadowed area in the foreground, and the picked out details such as on the roof, all suggest to me that original is not a photograph but either an engraving or drawing.

Regards, Brett

Thanks, its good to have other opinions,  the bluring of the figure may be due to lens abberations rather than movement during a long exposure and the flying birds are just too sharp.  I will visit the church and see if they know of any paintings etc.

Nevertheless it is an interesting image of a local subject and I was pleased to find it.

Thanks

Nigel 

Hi Nigel,

A belated addition to the conversation....

Painting - and by an artist who has the sun shining from two different directions. The east face of the tower is in sunlight, while the east gable of the church is in shadow. In a romantic painting such issues mattered not, in a photograph they are obviously impossible.

Best wishes

John

Engraving.

Hi John, Thanks for the reply, I originally thought it was a photograph of a painting but the blurred figure bottom left made me wonder if it was movement blur. I thought it would be a good idea to post it on the forum.

Next I will visit the church and try to find out if the original painting/engraving still exists.

Thanks again and I hope you are keeping well.

Cheers

Nigel

John Hannavy said:

Hi Nigel,

A belated addition to the conversation....

Painting - and by an artist who has the sun shining from two different directions. The east face of the tower is in sunlight, while the east gable of the church is in shadow. In a romantic painting such issues mattered not, in a photograph they are obviously impossible.

Best wishes

John

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