British military

Superb oversized half-plate British military ambrotype.  The image measures approximately 4 ¾” x 6 ¾” and could also be classified as a third-plate if so desired.  It is housed in a wood frame with a passé-partout mount creating an impressive presence and measuring at

10 ½” x 12 ½”.  These two men are part of the 20th regiment.  They also have a bugle horn visible on the hat which signifies an unmounted infantry soldier.  From our research we feel this is the 20th (The East Devonshire) Regiment of Foot that was in two battalions. The 1st battalion fought in the Crimea, and in 1857 was moved to India where it took part in the capture of Lucknow. The battalion returned to England in 1867: the depot was at Chatham. In 1869 the battalion was moved to Ireland. The second battalion was raised in Ireland in 1858, was at Dublin in 1860, and in England by 1861: in 1863 it embarked for China; 1864 to Japan; 1866 back to China; 1867 to the Cape of Good Hope; 1870 to Mauritius.  If anyone would have a different opinion or additional information please let us know. 

These two soldiers are quite young and appear somewhat awestruck with their upcoming assignment.  The one on the left seems slightly more apprehensive but it could be that he has not been issued a rifle like the one his buddy already holds. While it appears this was done in a typical stark military or government building the backdrop is actually makeshift and there appears to be grass on the ground.  The detail with this ambrotype is quite amazing and we can see why the English were considered masters of the collodion process!  The condition is excellent minus with a stain visible on the far right.  This actually might be a slight rub where the image shifted over time.  In our opinion this is by no means a distraction to this marvelous plate.  We have resealed the plate with a new backing for protection.  This would make quite a stunning image on anybody’s wall!