I have been called a self-righteous, pompous ass by the dealer I have exposed by posting his crime on my site. What is funny is at no time did he express concern that he perpetrated a fraud on an unsuspecting collector, just anger that he was caught! I have had many great emails concerning this posting, and for that I thank you. If anyone knows the high bidder, let's attempt to contact them and let them know what they bought is a fake! This clown needs to understand that he STOLE $1726.00 from an innocent person. That is a lot of hard earned money my friends!
End of update
Ok, let me say from the start that I know the seller of this piece of crap, I see him at shows all the time.
This "Ambrotype" was recently auctioned on ebay and brought $1726.00! Great image, right? Wrong!
This is a known and popular photograph of General A. T. A. Torbert and his staff circa 1864. It was taken as a paper image, never a one of a kind "ambrotype".
This dealer has been in the business a long time and, in my opinion, knows better. I was going to give him the benefit of the doubt until I saw the names he used on the .jpegs in his auction, indicating full knowledge of the subject matter (see below). The deceptive wording in his auction also (again see below) proved he knew what he was selling.
This is one of the recent spectacular content fake ambrotypes that have been showing up at shows the last few years, based on known, popular and published images. One look at the poor quality and lack of clarity gives it away, although the killer subject matter is the first thing that sets off the dealer "image radar" that it might be a fake. In this case it IS a fake! I have been seeing a ton of these being "walked around" shows by people I do not recognize who introduce themselves as "antique dealers" or the "son of a collector" who got lucky and found this great image and wants to sell it. The problem for them (most of the time) is that civil war image collectors are very knowledgeable for the most part and can recognize a famous image, and know damn well it was never published as a one of a kind hard image! Knowledge is king, people!
Back to the seller of this piece. In his auction description he states he does not know who is on the porch, but his images are saved as "Torbert" and "Tor", showing he knew damn well who it was!
His ebay description- " Great outdoor 1/6 plate ambrotype of 13 Senior Union Officers with most of them brandishing cavalry sabers. They are not identified. I don't seem to recognize this group, they may be staff at headquarters etc. The cavalry guidon has a "1" on the lower half. Image is clear and is housed in a leatherette case which needs some repair. I would put it in a different case along with a new frame, mat is ok. The back of the image has been re-blacked with paint. There is no glass over the actual image.
Outdoor images with this type of content are rarely encountered."
If he doesn't know who is in the image, then why does he save the images as Torbert! It is a small world we travel and deal in and hopefully he will see this and we can have a discussion at a show. This really pisses me off. $1726.00 on a bad image! Auctioned by a known dealer! This same image in albumen format was recently sold at Cowan's auction, and you can also find it on the web. There is no excuse for this and I have contacted the dealer to see what he says about it.