What is an ambrotype?

What is an ambrotype? Here are some definitions.

Noun
  1. an early type of photograph in which a glass negative appears positive when displayed on a black background
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Examples
There are many examples in the Picture Collection of delicately hand-tinted daguerrotype and ambrotype portraits.
Well, you just should have seen that poor fellow's face when they opened that ambrotype and held it before his eyes!
Is it more wicked to have a marble portrait than an ambrotype?
Si thrust his hand unceremoniously into Bushrod's pocket and found the ambrotype of Annabel.
It was an ambrotype, set into a case lined with purple velvet.
Suddenly Ellen Tiffton's story of the ambrotype flashed into 'Lina's mind.

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