I thought I'd test selenium toning with albumen today with some scrap albumen paper and a 6x6cm neg, and despite warnings to the contrary it doesn't look so bad compared to gold toning. Following recommendations for silver gelatin POP, I fixed first, rinsed, then toned, rather than toning before fixing. I also tried TF-4 instead of plain hypo.

So the sequence was--

10 min rinse

1 min TF-4

15 min rinse

3 min KRST 1:32

normal wash

The albumen paper was actually coated a few weeks ago, and I still ended up with a pretty clean white (cleaner on the print than in the scan) and good density range. I think the bleaching effect of the fixer and to a lesser extent the toner makes up for the slight browning of the aged paper.

So historical authenticity aside, is there any good reason not to selenium tone an albumen print? I'll leave the print out and will store some of the adjacent frames on the roll in a folder to see if there are any obvious short-term archival issues.

I've got a pretty good stock of gold chloride on hand, but for those wanting to try out the process, with gold pushing over $700/oz lately, that's sure to be a barrier, and the option of selenium toning would certainly make albumen printing more widely accessible.

On a normal 72dpi screen, the attached image will be about twice the size of the contact print.