YOUNG COUPLE, HAND-COLORED TALBOTYPES, LIKELY LANGENHEIM.
These are in original matching 10 x 8 – inch frames. The mats have 5 ¼ x 3- inch oval openings. The subjects may be newlyweds. The young woman has the charming innocence of a folk painting.
The consignor’s source was a woman who said they were by Langenheim. When I first saw these I thought the gentleman was William Langenheim as a young man, as seemed possible from his similarity to the known portraits of William. But the subject is too young to be William at the time of the print. Perhaps he is a relative. The strange cropping of the bottom of the image in the man’s portrait is characteristic of many (but not all) of the known Talbotypes by the Langenheims, including those in the great daguerreotype of William examining Talbotypes, now in the Metropolitan Museum. I have not seen this cropping in Talbotypes by others.
These came to me around the same time as I received David R. Hanlon’s Illuminating Shadows; The Calotype in Nineteenth Century America. The book gives a richly detailed accounting of the background of the Langenheims acquiring the US Patent for the Talbotoype [the process of printing from a paper negative] from Talbot in 1849, among many other rich details of the prior and subsequent activities of early paper photography in America. It has inspired me to include a group of related early images from the US.
These are [3+] with no damage.