Full Cased 1/6th Plate Leather Pannotype
Unknown Photographer
c. Late 1850s
Canada


P
hased out primarily due to the introduction of the tintype, the pannotype ceased being produced by around 1860. Due to the unintended fragility of the transferred emulsion and their
relatively limited production the pannotype is one of the rarest and most seldom encountered examples of early photographic processes. The overall relatively good - if wrinkled -
condition of this example and its military subject matter only increases its rarity.
Above: The leather pannotype image removed from its case during condition assessment and conservation. This specific example is virtually free of
the flaking and cracking that usually plagues examples of this photographic process. This may be in large part due to the fine grained, high quality
leather that was used as a base for the image. The only major defect was the wrinkling that occurred to the collodion as it dried and shrank on the
leather substrate.

The image itself depicts what appears to be a color sergeant of a Canadian rifles militia battalion from the late 1850s. He wears the distinctively
ornate color sergeants badges on both sleeves. Slightly later images of rifle battalion color sergeants show them wearing more traditional sergeants
chevrons on one sleeve and a single color sergeant's badge on the other. In all likelihood this sergeant's uniform would have been of dark rifle green
with red or scarlet piping. His sword was probably of the then standard British NCO pattern.
Above: The reverse side of the pannotype's leather "plate". The leather is of the highest quality and still extremely supple, facts of which probably
contribute much to the image's overall good state of preservation. The leather appears to be a thin split of goatskin.