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Half Plate


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SKU: CW-45 Category:

?GREAT GRANDFATHER . . . May?s house New London Conn? was penned on a small label and attached to the reverse of a fine half plate leather case that has a new professionally repaired spine. The architectural view showing the pair of gents in the foreground below the ?Lumber Yard? sign were probably Mr. May and an associate. The owner of that business, located at 194 Bank St. was most likely Jonathan Starr. Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument, designed the building behind the May homestead. The Custom House at 150 Bank St. is the oldest, continuously operating custom facility in the US. It was constructed in two years, 1833-1835. Regrettably the May house was torn down at some point in time and a brick faced one story Salvation Army structure is presently in that location. This splendid dag made by an unknown daguerreian, who used a reversing prism on the front of his lens, positioned his camera at the intersection of Bank and Pearl Sts. Two small schooners were moored at docks along the Thames River on the right side of the structures. In the shadow of the substantial white edifice stood a solitary horse hitched to a wagon. I wonder what inducement was given to the animal to remain stationary without his owner nearby? Obviously the operator didn?t place the correction device perfectly on the lens and the scene appears slightly skewed. The contrast and reflected brilliance of the large view is very impressive and much better then I could reproduce the plate. There are silver spots on the left side in oxidation that has formed inside the oval brass mat. Several areas of degradation caused by weeping glass are also visible.