Portrait of an unknown woman.
This portrait was made using the collodion process, which was introduced in 1851. This process was complicated but a great improvement on the earlier methods. The time needed for exposure was cut to only a few seconds, the images were sharper and the costs were lower - a collodion photograph cost one tenth of a daguerreotype, for example. The collodion process was never patented so it became widely used very quickly and fuelled a boom in photography.
Collodion photographs were usually printed on paper, but other materials were sometimes used. This photograph is on leather, which had to be carefully prepared before it could be used. It is one of several photographs on leather presented to Glasgow Museums by Archibald Robertson.
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums
collodion, leather, photography, portraits, women