Waterman Antiques

Dedicated to preserving the past...One piece at a time

Each Month Waterman Antiques will present an "Antique of the Month." This is done to give a history snapshot of a genuine piece of history.  Many "Antiques of the Month" are contributed by customers or friends of Waterman Antiques.

ANTIQUE OF THE MONTH - September 2017

Two American Civil War Soldier Tintype Photographs

There is no more iconic rememberance of the American Civil War than one of the many soldiers Photographs. Photos were taken of Union and Confederate soldiers and sent home to their loved ones as a reminder of why they were away from home. Many prayers were breathed over these photos and in many cases it was the only reminder of a brother, son, husband or dad who did not make it home after the War. The two that are displayed in this article are to the Left; a very clear and well protected American Civil War tintype of a Union Soldier in Full Battle dress which includes Federal issued union uniform with belt , buckle, eagle plate on cross strap, cap pouch,  ammunition pouch, kepi with brass buckle, misc. accoutrements and rifled musket with attached long bayonet. This is a photo with most all of the bells and whistles one wants in a Civil War photo. The expression of the man shows the wear of war and is a vivid reminder of our past intense struggle as a nation divided.

The second tintype photo is at the bottom and shows a union seargent in full uniform with a bottoned wool union coat with seargent stripes on the sleeve along with a kepi hat and an expression that can only be seen as one of longing for home and loved ones. 

Photography in the 1860s was in it's infancy and although primitive by modern standards, It was an immediate success. Mathew Brady is probably one of the most famous of the early photographers making his way from Civil War battlefield to battlefield snapping pictures of the dead soldiers on both sides. During and after the war he made talks and showed slides of the pictures he had taken, but by the end of the Civil War people were tired of the war and he did not have great success in his lifetime with the Civil War documentation he accomplished. Today is record of surviving photos has lead to countless books, documenteries and historical research on actual events of the Civil War. The most common photograph of the Civil War was a tintype which basically was a phot image on tin and after 150+ years tin develops rust blisters or is completely deterierated to the point of  blurring the image completely. It is hard to find a clear, unblemished original Civil War tintype photo today and the ones that do exist command a good value. 


These artifacts are  currently  for sale in the Webstore.  Any research, attributions or opinions shared in the above article are the opinions of David Moore or information given to him with the featured antique of the month. These opinions and attributions are based on research and /or experience. Opinions can be proved or disproved with historical evidence and new facts. David Moore or Waterman Antiques will not be held liable for any misinformation that may be given.