Lot 3504
Magnificent Quarter Plate Ambrotype of Two Louisiana Confederates
Lot Details & Additional Photographs
Its paper backing inscribed, E. C. Kiblinger / Artist: Jackson La. / March 18th 1864, and above, to the right, is a tiny inscription in another hand reading, "In for the war, or 100 Years." The earnest subjects of this studio image are quite young, perhaps 20 years of age or so. The gentlemen on the left is definitely a cavalry officer given his jaunty ostrich plume, gauntlets, and knee-high cavalry boots. His double-breasted gray frock coat lacks insignia while his uniform buttons are obscured by applied gilt. His belt is fastened with a regulation federal 1851 Pattern brass plate and supports a leather cap box, holster, and what appears to be an British light cavalry saber from the early 19th century. To his right is seated an associate wearing a plain gray frock coat with a civilian-style hat and breeches. The gentleman's waist belt is secured by a clear two-piece Louisiana plate depicting the state's distinctive pelican motif, while a pistol's butt strap is visible to the plate's left.

From a private West Virginia collection

Records and newspaper advertisements indicate that photographer E. C. Kiblinger was active in Jackson as early as 1855. Curiously, the glass ambrotype offered here was somewhat of an anachronism when it was made in 1864 since tintypes and cartes de visite had become the era's dominant forms of studio photography. Perhaps wartime metal and paper shortages were responsible for Kiplinger's revival of the glass ambrotype in 1864.

Hairline fracture lower left in shadows, else very good condition.