Pack Secrets

Cycleback, 2003, all rights reserved

Q & A

march 21 2003



**** Q: Is there a difference between a tinted print and a colored print, or do they mean the same thing?


**** A: Tinted and colored mean different things.


Tinted means one or two colors are added to the original print. 


Colored means three or more different colors are added. 


These numbers apply to the colors added in addition to the base print.  For example, if you take a black and white Harper's Woodcut and add by brush the colors of blue and yellow, the Harper's Woodcut is tinted.  If you then add red, it's colored.


Hand colored or hand printed means the extra colors were painted on by hand.  Usually, the extra colors are a translucent watercolor-like paint.  In an auction or sale description, simply 'colored' or 'tinted' without the preceding 'hand' likely indicates that the colors were not added by hand, but by some sort of overprinting or stamping.  In general, colors added by hand are considered more desirable.


The terms apply only when the colors are added distinctly after the original printing is finished.  If you cut out a black and white picture from a magazine and add your own add your own colors, it's tinted or colored.  On the other hand, even though a 1970 Topps football card has a variety of colors, it was all printed as part of one process, so it is not a colored print.  There were no artists afterwards, adding by hand rose to John Unitas's cheeks or blue to Gayle Sayer's Jersey.


'Color Versus Colored'

If the colors of a print are made all as one basic printing process, like a Topps trading card or cover of Time magazine, it's called a 'color print' (no 'ed' after 'color').  The vast majority of multi color prints are color and not colored.






****Q: With photographs of famous athletes, is it better for him to be shown in his team's uniform or in street clothes?


**** A: If you are talking price-wise, the premium is probably given when the player is in uniform.  I prefer the player dressed dapperly in street clothes, but I'm in the minority.  During the athlete's playing years, a street clothes shot is almost always the scarcer.





**** Q: Is an Orotone one of a kind like a Daguerreotype?


****  A: Not by nature.


In the olden days there was a variety of different types of photographs made that have somewhat similar appearances as they have the photographic image on a pane of metal or glass.  Names for these photographs including tintype (image on iron), Daguerreotype (silver coated copper), ambrotype (glass usually backed in black), orotone (glass backed in genuine gold), gold-tone (different name for orotone), Curtis-tone (different name for orotone), ivorytype (fake ivory, usually hand colored or tinted), autochrome (glass, the first true color photograph), opaltype (white opaque glass, usually hand colored or tinted) and lantern slide (glass). 


The Daguerreotypes, tintypes and ambrotypes were made in a way that, with the rare exception, one and only one of a particular photograph could be made.  This means that if you own a Daguerreotype of a farmer or house or whatever, you more than likely own the only example in the world.



The other photographs were made differently, and several copies could have been made originally.  This doesn't mean that a particular orotone or opaltype is not the only one existence, but that there can be more than one copy.


Seemingly ironically, if you look at the overall populations of these photographs, you will find that Daguerreotypes, tintypes and ambrotypes are by far the more plentiful of the types mentioned.  Meaning, if you check on eBay you will find many more tintypes than you will find opaltypes or ivorytypes.  While the Daguerreotype, ambrotype and tintype could only produce one photograph per shot, the processes were much more popular.


The reader's question may be why certain photographic processes can produce only one photograph while others can produce multiples?  As I realize that it's near the weekend, I will leave the anwer to another day.  I will, however, give the following hint:  If you remove an ambrotype (only one can exist) from its holder, it will look exactly like a glass negative.  The image will be reverse left-to-right and dark-to-light.  However if you remove an orotone or opaltype (multiples of each can exist) from its holder or frame, the image will not be in negative.  I'll let you try and figure that one out, before I give the answer.