This ambrotype portrait shows a woman with two children. They clearly come from a well-to-do family. It was probably taken in the late-1850s. The very early-60s is possible, especially as the father is absent. Normally you would expect for both parents to be included in family portraits. The Civil War mean that many fathers were away from home for extended periods. Perhaps a reader will have some ide on how to date it more exactly.
We do not know where in Anmerica it was taken. The mother wears a voluminous dress with a small lace collar. Women's dresses at the time used copious quantities of fabric. The children look 8-10 years old. The girl wears a low-cut dress edged with trim and holds flowers. Her hair ids done in ringlert curls. Her older brother wears a dark jacket that does not button at ther collar, but we cannot make out much detail. He has a prominant starched collar which he wears with a blue stock, tinted in the ambro. Bows were not yet very common.
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