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Sixth-Plate Daguerreotype Portrait of a Fashionable Young Man

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Posted 2 years ago

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buffalo-st…
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This was one of the first daguerreotypes I added to my very small collection of early photography, and perhaps the one which encouraged me to find more. The sixth-plate photograph, enclosed in a leather-bound wooden case and matted in a textured brass frame, is of an unidentified young man seated before the camera of Charles Evans, a daguerreotypist located at 380 Market Street, Philadelphia between 1848 to 1854. With his patent leather engineer's hat and boldly patterned waistcoat, this young man was clearly familiar with the fashions of his age - not interested in the beaver-skin hats and the formal clothing which were usually worn for these portraits. Developed on a silver-coated copper plate and polished to a highly reflective finish, the photographic process gives this image a three-dimensional quality and an almost palpable sense of liveliness. It has several condition issues - most noticeable, a white film under the glass plate protecting the photograph itself - but still has an intense clarity and strong contrast.

Comments

  1. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
    Nice looking daguerreotype-- does it have original seals?

    Welcome to CW-- there are several antique image collectors already on the site. If you have an interest, I have numerous postings of antique photographs.

    scott
  2. buffalo-standard, 2 years ago
    Scott,
    It does have the original seals. It has taken me a while to realize it, but I am very partial to daguerreotypes that have never been resealed. Naturally, I am always looking for photographs with the least amount of tarnish and mold and whatever else has wormed its way underneath the glass, but to carefully look behind the photograph and find that ancient brown tape curling against the plate, and to know that no one has opened the seals and touched in the inside of the glass - it is some kind of good feeling. Anyway, good hearing from you and thanks very much for the welcome! I will be sure to look through a few of your posts!

    James

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