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Photography/sistine madonna photograph

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"Hi I have a photograph of the sistine madonna and it has a blind stamp of the photographer rudolph tamme f&o brockmann photography studio have done research on the photo and found information that the blind stamp authenticates the photographer and studio I have looked at other copies of the sistine madonna and noticed differences in the photograph I have and the other reproductions!tamme  died 1911 so the photograph would have to date before that this is a rare photo of the sistine madonna before it was damaged any information you could give me to help in finding out more information would be appreciated thanks!!I did some testing and it passes all the test to being a albumen photo thin paper black light sepia tone paper rolls if exposed to light so on any info would help thanks again!!"

Answer
Okay, that's a lot. First of all I have no idea about the rarity of this image. Prints are hardly ever rare and this one sounds like it was one of hundreds that were made and sold by the f&o btockman studio for tourists and as souvenirs. That it dates before 1911 doesn't by itself make it rare.

My suggestions are as follows. Photgraph the image, Go online and research photo historians. Contact one and show them the photo, see if they have any better idea of what this print is beyond a souvenir.

Secondly, if it is an albumen print you will have to be very careful with it and I would again go online and find photo archivists who might make suggestions about preserving the print.

You have a lovely image that you can display in your home and it best, you might have a unique photograph, I just do not think it will have a great value either historical or in the marketplace. Enjoy what you have.  

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Steve Meltzer

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I am a professional photographer and I've been shooting for newspapers, magazines, commercial clients and artists for over 30 years. I have shot stock photography for dozens of years and in 1977 created West Stock (Seattle, WA) which was one of the first to produce stock photo CDs and later one of the first to establish an online stock photo slaes site. I have a new book on digital photography "PHOTOGRAPHING ARTS, CRAFTS AND COLLECTIBLES (Lark Books, 2007)which is available at Amazon.com, eBay.com and in bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Borders. I have another book, CAPTURE THE LIGHT which will be puiblished in November, 2008. I write 20-30 feature articles and columns for regional and national publications a year. My education includes studying with photographers like Cornell Capa, Duane Michels and Oliver Gagliani (from the Ansel Adams Center.)

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