Anonymous (United States)
Burgundy velvet oval case with painted mother of pearl inlay behind glass
Leather or specialty case, mid 1860s
A beautiful, unusual, and almost certainly unique case.

A deep burgundy-red velvet oval case with a smaller, exceptionally detailed oval painting of the exterior of a palace (?) with a few people walking on the grounds. The painting is on mother of pearl, and it is mounted behind glass.

In Berg's book on nineteenth century photographic cases, pieces similar to this one are categorized as "very very rare, less than 10 copies known, almost never seen." It should be added that no category for cases such as this one exists in Berg's compilation. He cites examples of several velvet ovals with paintings behind glass, and also of rectangluar papier mâché cases with painted mother of pearl inlays but no velvet oval cases with equivalent mother of pearl paintings.

The case houses a ninth plate tintype of a bonneted woman. The interior lining of the case lid is off-white watered silk.

The iridescence of the mother of pearl ground, particularly strong in the windows of the palace, is not done justice by this photograph.

More photos available on request.

Size:1/9th plate
Condition:3 (with some wear to velvet, recto and verso)
No. 26.133
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