Dating 19th century photographs of men

Changes in men's fashions have generally been more subtle, and less sensational than women's, and photographs of even the most well-to-do gentlemen are therefore far more difficult to date accurately by dress alone.

In contrast, by the end of the 19th century women's fashions tended to bring in a new detail each season, so the most fashionable ladies' photographs can often be dated to within a year.

We received a Christmas card from the Llewellyn-Bowen family this week, Laurence, his wife and two daughters dressed up in a 1920s jazz style.

It made me think of our feature on postcards in our Christmas issue written by photo dating expert Jayne Shrimpton that included a Christmas postcard from her collection.

If you don't know whether you have a tintype, here's a trick: A magnet will be attracted to a tintype.

As you can see on the edges of this photo, the emulsion (image layer) has a tendency to flake off.

Last week, we looked at a pair of crayon portraits.

If any are similarly numbered, you may be able to narrow down the date of your mystery woman.

This card, sent from the Sudan in 1941, features a photograph of a soldier inserted into a festive mount.

We find some of the most common queries from readers are to do with photo dating.

When you have an image with this type of damage, scan it immediately to digitally preserve it.

It should be kept in an acid- and lignin-free envelope for storage.

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