When browsing in a Devon antique shop I came across three early ambrotype photographs and bought two of them. Two had the details of the photographer on the back of the frame and they were from Portsea, Portsmouth. One I discarded as the condition was poor but the other was in good condition and the label on the back provided interesting information about the photographer, his studio and his services.

It will be possible to check on the dates when the photographer was working. The photograph was probably produced 150 years ago during the early era of wood and brass cameras using the wet plate process.

The other photograph I purchased was from the same era and may well have come from the same photographer. It was of a very young man in military uniform. My first thought is that he is likely to have been a marine. The key colours had been picked out eg his gold braid and a red stripe down his trouser leg.

The setting looks just like that in the two photographs from the Portsmouth studio. There is a typical side table with a cloth on and both seem to match. In those days Portsmouth was very much a garrison town as well as aa naval port.

I buy daguerreotypes and ambrotypes and would also be interested in buying calotypes and saltprints. Early colour photographs such as autochromes and the Paget process are of interest to me.