I love the aesthetics of old photographs, the careful poses, the natural light, even the soft decay of an image. I sometimes collect other peoples orphaned ancestors via online auctions – old photos adrift from family albums, rich in costume detail, hinting at lives beyond the camera.
This tiny tintype is, according to the back, Miss Amanda Fish. She would probably not have been a dazzling beauty even in her own time, but she has made a heroic effort to present herself to best advantage, wearing elaborate earrings, a velvet bow with a brooch, and a top with fancy shiny buttons.
Her gaze is wonderfully intent. Was she having her portrait taken to give as a gift to some special man or woman? I’ll probably never know (nothing showed up with a quick online search anyway), but I can enjoy speculating.
Miss Fish may well make her way into a drawing or painting sometime soon.