MARTIN, Jane (b c1834). 1/6th plate ambrotype in extremely fine condition of a young lady with subtle tinting. In a half case (heavily worn), with gilt brass matte embossed with the photographers details J.URIE GLASGOW. On the reverse is an old paper label identifying the sitter as "Miss Jane Martin. Leadhills".
Jane Martin was born circa 1834, the daughter of James and Eliza Martin of Leadhills, Lanarkshire, Scotland. In the 1871 census her married name is Kinchant, and she is found with her parents and two young children Francis and James. Her father James Martin (1790-1875) was surgeon in the historic mining village of Leadhills where he was born, and as such was one of the community's most prominent citizens. Amongst other things James Martin provided evidence to the Children's Commission 1841-1842 on the hazardous working conditions of miners and metal workers. The ambrotype comes with copies of the family's details from the 1851 census.
The photographer James Urie (1820-1920) was by 1854 operating from premises at 33 and 35 Buchanan Street, Glasgow. In 1854 an article was published in the Mechanics Journal concerning his development of the Relievotype process, a variant of the ambrotype process in which the image was presented emulsion
side up, with the background of the actual portrait backed with black shellac. The image was then placed on a light background creating a three dimensional effect. This has not been done in this ambrotype, but the portrait has been mounted emulsion side up with a cover glass on top.