Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: This is an area of my collection that I realize is perhaps a bit obscure. I have a clutch of these tintypes, about a half dozen, of people posing with Felix. Unlike the photo postcards, the tintypes (which rarely turn up on the market, I can’t say I find one every second year or so) are almost universally poorly developed and dark. They usually cost a mint – so someone else, somewhere in the world must also like them – and I pursue them ruthlessly. I do not think there is a single one in my collection I haven’t had to really pay up for. They hang, as a group, in a small hallway where the light is on infrequently and therefore they remain in almost constant semi-darkness.
Still, the window onto the past these provide is irresistible to me. It is that perfect moment when the Felix craze was on, but tintypes were still the photo of the day. Clothing styles are a bit earlier and everything a bit older and more romantic. Two couples, or is it three? All arms linked, hard to tell. Everyone dressed to the nines in their best outfit splendor. The women’s shoes drive home that point – and the luxe fur collar on the one woman’s coat. The men seem a bit self-conscious, especially the chap in the middle who is holding Felix up. They remained somewhere, in a drawer, an album or on a shelf, a treasured item – as they are to me today.