8:36 PM

Welcome back to my blog. The image above is not a tintype, but a miniature of Henry Chouteau (painting on ivory) in a daguerreotype case from the St. Louis Photographic Gallery for Thomas Easterly.

I bet your perplexed why I am using the example above to make a point about the tintype of the child holding the flint lock rifle.

Often, there is question if the image was later put into a photographic case and that is why my tintype and clothing expert have different dates when this child was photographed. If you recall in my last 2 blogs, my tintype expert based her analysis on the mat was patented in 1861 and my clothing expert said the style was a passing fad in 1851-1854.

I am revisiting this topic again after receiving another email from Joan, who wrote,

Elizabeth-- 
That topknot hair thing really was quite a short-lived fad, and I lean more 
to a closer date for the tintype than to think the hair was done that way 
long after the fad had passed. 
I can see 1856 - 7 at a reach--but never into the '60's 
Did they never mount a tintype AFTER the fact? 
Joan 
I replied 
Hi Joan, 
Yes, Matthew wondered if the case was a later additon. The case had an 1861 mat. I see 1856-57 too....The good part is the date has narrow down to only a few years- very impressive! 
Elizabeth 
  And That reminded me of my query with the minature above. I've used this before in my early blog, Salesman's Journal: Glassware, Queenware, Chinaware and Pottery 10  where I wrote

Henry Chouteau (1805-1855) who was the Pacific RR Executive died [in the railroad accident at the Gasconade Bridge]- Fannie Deavers' (mother of Julia Deavers Chouteau- widow) took a trip to Paris in 1857 and had a mourning miniature dated 1855 made by Millet (famous for his haystack paintings) and once back had Thomas Easterly, a St Louis daguerreotypist [photographer] mount it in a daguerreotype case- (see below- miniature that included a note and copy of Fannie's passport dated 1857) 


I couldn't believe that this was painted in France....I mean traveling to France was a very big trip and dangerous too...However, I brought this minature to a reliable source to Robin Jaffee Frank who wrote a book on minatures, 
Love and Loss: American Portrait and Mourning Miniatures (Yale University Art Gallery)

 I took these photographs in the lab while Robin Jaffe Frank took a closer look under the microscope. She concluded that the quality of painting was excellent, but as a representative of Yale, she could not verify if the painter was the Millet who was famous for the paintings in France but gave me the name of an expert who could. 

Unlike the tintype, the miniature of Henry Chouteau had the note (ephemeral piece) that allowed me to research the image. I have found support verifying Fanny's trip to Paris, but in 1857 not 1855. Without the note, this would have been just another nice looking miniature of average looking man and thrown away years ago.