GOLDTONEPHOTOGRAPH.COM, A DIVISION OF SEATTLE-BASED GALLERY NORTHWEST FOUND, SPECIALIZES IN THE HISTORIC EARLY 20TH-CENTURY PHOTO-GRAPHIC PROCESS KNOWN AS THE GOLDTONE, OR OROTONE,WHICH IS DISTING-UISHED BY ITS SHIMMERING METALLIC GOLD, THREE-DIMENSIONAL APPEARANCE.
WE ARE ACTIVELY PURCHASING & SELLING HISTORIC GOLDTONE / OROTONE PHOTOGRAPHY!
WHAT IS A GOLDTONE, OR OROTONE, PHOTOGRAPH?
The GOLDTONE, or OROTONE, process possesses deep-seated roots in the Seattle area of the Pacific Northwest, reaching an incomparable level of popularity within the region during the early decades of the 20th century. The orotone process today is in great part synonymous with the renowned Seattle- based photographer EDWARD S. CURTIS and Native American imagery, but many other lesser-known photographers of the city and region created orotones encapsulating not only Native cultures of North America but also natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest--particularly that of Mount Rainier.
The foundation of an orotone photograph is most readily comparable to the slender and pocket-side photographic slides of our youth. Akin to these slides, where a positive photographic image has been developed onto a thin transparent plastic film base, an orotone photograph is printed and developed onto a slim, clear sensitized plate of transparent glass and toned from the typical black to an amber hue. The orotone’s most definitive feature is the brilliancy it receives from the gold-colored varnish that is applied by brush or flowed onto the backside (the emulsion side) of the glass plate after development and toning. The result: a distinctive, three-dimensional photograph with a golden internal glow.