The Dictionary Of Photography

A True Historic Record Of The Art & Practice Of Photography 100 Years Ago.

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Amphitype
without any increased advantages, it is hardly likely to come into general use. It is a very deliquescent salt, soluble also in alcohol.
Amphitypean impression, as
of a seal). A curious process which was discovered by Sir John Herschel, who thus describes his method of procedure : -
"Paper proper for producing an amphitype picture may be prepared either with the ferro-tartrate or the ferro-citrate of the protoxide or the peroxide of mercury, or of the protoxide of lead, by using creams of these salts, or by successive application of the nitrates of the respective oxides, singly or in mixture, to the paper, alternating with solutions of the ammonio-tartrate or ammonio-citrate of iron; the latter solution being last applied, and in more or less excess. Paper so prepared and dried takes a negative picture in time varying from half-an-hour to five or six hours, according to the intensity of the light; and the im-pression produced varies in apparent force, from a faint and hardly perceptible picture to one of the highest conceivable fulness and richness both of tint and detail, the colour in this case being a superb velvety brown. This extreme richness of effect is not produced except lead be present, either in the ingredients used or in the paper itself. It is not, as I originally supposed, due to the presence of free tartaric acid. The pictures in this state are not permanent. They fade in the dark, though with very different degrees of rapidity, some (especially if free tartaric or citric acid be present) in a few days ; while others remain for weeks unimpaired, and require whole years for their total obliteration. But though entirely faded out in appearance, the picture is only rendered dormant, and may be restored, changing its character from negative to positive, and its colour from brown to black (in the shadow), by the following process : - A bath being prepared by pouring a small quantity of solution of pernitrate of mercury into a large quantity of water, and letting the subnitrated precipitate subside, the picture must be immersed in it (carefully and repeatedly clearing off the air-bubbles), and allowed to remain till the picture (if anywhere visible) is entirely destroyed, or, if faded, till it is judged sufficient from previous experience ; a term which is often marked by the appearance of a feeble positive picture of a bright yellow hue on the pale yellow
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