Cruiser, C. 1850s-60s Ninth Plate Ambrotype of Presumed Painting of Famous Stallion

Regular price $125.00

I'm not well equipped for photographing daguerreotypes and ambrotypes, so photos do no real justice to this one, which in the hand feels very strong and crisp and bold. I purchased it from a new favorite early paper, books and photography dealer at Reininger's flea market in Adamstown, PA--and was quickly congratulated by a collector on the acquisition as I stood there with it in front of me on the counter.

It is a ninth plate ambrotype, of what I believe is a painting of this horse, though possibly an engraving. In the image, underneath the horse, backwards (an ambrotype reverses the original image)is "Cruiser"--identifying this horse, I believe, as the celebrated wild stallion "tamed" by the legendary horse tamer ("horse whisperer") John Rarey (1827–1866) of Groveport, Ohio, USA, famous for taming violent horses and later for teaching his "Rarey technique"  around the world. Included at the end of photos is one drawing and one engraving of Cruiser from the 1850s. Quite a piece of history and quite a rare and striking early photograph--plus you know I love a photo of an earlier representation. Pretty cool!

2 1/2" x 2 1/6". There is a fine, clean crack in the glass plate of the ambro--shot several times magnified, and just a hair off alignment. In hand, the off-alignment is very barely discernible, and it is stable in its foil frame.