This photo is very very old. I'm guessing around 1856-1860 judging by the hairstyle over the ears and the sleeves on the dress. She is wearing a pale dress, not as common in the 1860s and 70s I think (I might be wrong here). I am not used to seeing such a light coloured dress. Many of the photos in our collection have women in darker coloured dresses probably because they were serviceable and the fact Queen Victoria was wearing a huge amount of black after the death of her husband in 1861. Women looked up to her and copied her. This photo is possibly a daguerreotype photo as it has a weird mirrored look. But it could be an ambrotype and I'm mistaken. The image almost appears like a negative, however it is not. I'm not sure if it is exactly how it was in the 1850s or if it has been damaged over the years to give this weird ghostlike appearance.
Is the picture English or German? I have both nationalities in my family tree.
I don't know anything else about it which is very frustrating. It was in an old trunk of photos that my great grandmother stored in her house for 60 years. If anyone can shed light on it, I would love to know! I have a feeling it was brought out on an immigrant ship to New Zealand. A likeness of a sweetheart, which we still have today.
Could it be an image of Sarah Winfield Brown? Did she give a likeness to her sweetheart James Potts who departed for New Zealand on the ship Glentanner leaving 11 June 1857. Sarah followed in 1860 on the ship Gananoque and married James soon after arrival. Sarah is the most likely candidate for the subject of the photo. It is hard to compare this young girl to the older lady I know as Mrs Potts, age having taken it's toll so to speak. Or could this girl be a sister of one of my ancestors who left for New Zealand all those years ago. Less likely but still possible. Or a sweetheart that never followed her man out and found the idea just too risky and adventurous so stayed behind in her homeland.