Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Ultra Rare Frederick Douglass Collodion Wet Plate Photograph , circa late 1870's. Born a slave, Frederick Douglass (circa 1817-1895) was an eloquent orator and convincing writer who championed abolition until it became fact. After the Civil War, Douglass took up the cause of equal rights for all Americans. This apparently unpublished beardless portrait of Douglass uses the collodion process on a glass plate and looks quite similar to an image residing in the National Archives. Housed in 1/4 plate gutta percha case, 4.0" x 5.0", decorated on both sides with a high relief scene of a woman on horseback above a reclining dog. The collodion wet plate process was invented in 1851 and survived through the 1870's, however it was rarely used after the ascendancy of tintypes in the 1860's. "Flat" tonal contrasts per usual with collodion plates. A few light scratches and pinpoint areas of emulsion loss, small nicks on the case corners and edges. Overall Very Good condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,495

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 September 14 - 15 Americana & Political.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 November 2 Lincoln and His Times Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 November 2 Lincoln and His Times Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,799,801