Albumen Prints (technically they are known as Toned Gelatin Printing Out Prints but are always referred to as Albumen prints) are simply Curtis’ earliest and scarcest master prints. They comprise 1 in 10,000 of the prints produced by Curtis and were produced principally only between 1899 and 1900.
It is believed there are less than 40 surviving examples of this process. Albumen/Printing out Prints are some of the most coveted and important photographs Curtis produced. No other photographs are as close to Curtis’ own hands. It is likely Curtis printed all these images himself in direct sunlight from his glass plate negatives. Of the few examples that exist, the majority are approximately 12" x 16", making this 6" x 8" example even that more rare within this very rare body of work.
The image itself is beautiful, showing an infant in a traditional Nez Perce cradle. The print is gold-toned and marked by its fine grain structure, sharp resolution and rich rust sepia tone.
In my 30 plus years I've personally seen less than six of these and this one is a fabulous example and presents a wonderful collection opportunity.