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Portrait Photo Collectors Unite !

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#1 Eric Queen

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 08:47 AM

OK, here's the idea. I think it would be good to know, and potentially beneficial for all, to have some sense of who collects what. That said, I certainly understand that most people who collect photos will pick up anything they find interesting (even outside their specific interests) if something happens to come along and the price is right. This is quite true with me as well. If something weird, strange, unusual comes along and I think I can find out more about it I will most likely pick it up (an example of this would be the 6888th WAC Postal Bn. portrait I posted a couple of days ago. I had not idea what it was when I bought it but I knew it was different and the price was right. Thanks to some members of this forum I was able to find out what it was and learn something, which I am grateful for)


So, that aside, what do you specialize in? What typically are you looking for? If we all knew, I think we could help each other more, which (should be) part of what this hobby is about. 


Here is my request. Please list (up to five) of the top subjects you are looking for and post an example or two. 


I will start. I am looking for original portraits of:


* US and US ally elite forces (US Special Forces [Vietnam or before], Ranger/Airborne/OSS/SAS/SOE [WW2]

* USMC 15th Separate Bn. [WW1]

* Anything related to US War Dogs from any time period

* Rare or unusual insignia in wear


Here is a nice one I picked up recently at Bob's show. Always looking for more like this. 


Thanks. Please join in. 

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Edited by Eric Queen, 12 June 2016 - 08:51 AM.

#2 Brig



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Posted 12 June 2016 - 08:57 AM

Great idea Eric! I have recently found myself trying to determine what portrait collectors collect what since, as you said, it's not unusual for them to pick up everything they find.


I myself collect USMC Portraits. Any and all, really, but I guess if I had to narrow it down:


-Cabinet Cards, Tintypes, & early medias

-The earlier, the better...particularly pre-1900

-Portraits with interesting insignias and/or oddities...unofficial devices on marksmanship badges, nsanctioned insignias, etc

-Portraits with clear shots of scarce EGAs

#3 Dirk



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Posted 12 June 2016 - 10:11 AM

Mine is easy- China Marine or Asatic Fleet images any era. Although will branch out occasionally for World War I Air Service portraits.

#4 mes

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 10:52 AM

I like usmc dress uniform studio portraits with patches and ribbon bars all eras. Which I believe are home coming or  post war

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#5 lakenormanusa

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 09:20 PM

I am looking for hand tinted portraits




Men wearing helmets




Decorated pilots




Pilots in flight gear





#6 lakenormanusa

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 09:33 PM

Airmen with weapons


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Infantrymen with weapons




Combat soldiers (and medics) with unit patches




Pretty much anything that Eric will allow to filter down to the rest of us. :P

#7 sgtdorango

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 02:05 PM

Im a sucker for 40s and 50s era US paratroopers geared up in studio shots and also Occupation of Japan 11th AB studio portraits including KW 187th ARCT studio portraits especially if they are wearing Swing Caps......also collect any and all photos showing the same era paratroopers in the field showing tac marked painted helmets....mike

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#8 ww1buff

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 02:47 PM

As my username implies, I collect WWI portraits.  Most are A.E.F.-related, although I do also collect foreign (Allied) portraits, especially images showing medals.  I will also collect images related to the WWI Victory Medal or victory ribbon, so I do stray into the inter-war years and even some WWII portraits if the soldier, sailor or marine had WWI service.


I have a few that don't fit the above categories that I need to weed out.



#9 David D

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 02:52 PM

Thanks for starting this, Eric. This is a really good idea.

I mainly like portraits from men of units that fought in "The Battle of the Bulge"


I just snagged this off ebay for $5 2 weeks ago



#10 gauthieb3sxz

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 02:07 PM

Great idea Eric!  Many of you already know me, but I collect:


-Aesthetically interesting WWI and WWII photography

-WWI real photo postcards or portrait shots sporting helmets or other interesting elements

-WWII european-taken real photo postcards

-WWII and Korean War 35mm color slide collections


Here's my website:https://portraitofwar.com/



#11 gauthieb3sxz

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 02:10 PM

One quick thing - check out what I did with a collection of 90 or so portraits from the same company!


#12 mars&thunder

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 02:13 PM

New York National Guard, pre-WW2, especially cabinet cards of guardsmen wearing their medals.

#13 USCapturephotos

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 07:36 AM

As my name implies I search high and low for snapshots as well as portraits of WWII GI's in all theaters showing off their war souvenirs. I also love shots of GI's posed next to knocked out or abandoned tanks and aircraft, portraits of GI's taken overseas,  etc, etc.

Nice idea Eric.


#14 cthomas

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 02:35 PM

WWI American Air Service & Balloon Corps. Actually I collect from both sides of that war (French, British, German, Italian, etc.).

I'm in the process of thinning out my WWI photo collection as we speak, so that I can pad the war chest for future purchases.

#15 matmil

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 11:48 AM

7th 1965, his Shoulder strap insignia are the type that are "pierced", opposing skull types, while the one on the flash is not !



#16 45govt

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:17 PM


Great idea.


I collect early cabinet cards 1870's through 1890's of US soldiers with marksmanship medals.

Like this



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