SO MANY CLUES! I have seen another spectacular archivally taped half plate daguerreotype of a gentleman framed by a rectangular paper mat gilded golden and kept in a complete leather case with a Grecian Urn theme on the cover and a plain reverse. He was seated next to that identical table covered by the same cloth and he rested his hand near the pen and ink set seen between the two brothers. I don?t recall the addition of that drapery and the small marblelized column. The wooden balestrade behind the lads is unreconizeable. However, surely there must have been other amazing dags like this example where similar props were utilized. Let me say that the boy on the left leaned lightly on the piece of furniture while his sibling stood striking a rather dramatic pose. The daguerreotypist refrained from using a head restraint on either young subject. As we all can see, the little guy remained stationary while his companion bounced a bit. Magnificent illumination was used to accentuate each kid. Their costumes were finely fitted and rather formal for this masterwork. The sharpness of the image, circa 1845 was superb. The range of tones could not have been surpassed by even the most advanced daguerreian. Obviously this unknown man had already reached the pinnacle of the art. This plate meshes nicely with my conclusion that the halcyon years of daguerreotype in my humble opinion were circa 1844-1848. Naturally many operators continued to create outstanding examples throughout the 1850s, but in that short five-year span of time, the greatness and the awesome potential of the daguerreotypes had already been realized. The holographic nature of the likeness almost defies anyone?s visual acuity! Lovely colorful patina flows within the rectangular mat shape. Tentacles of mold reach out from the edges but do not affect the brothers. There is a wipe on the curtain and various spots and dots of different colors on the surface. They too are rather meaningless! Most of the white specks were caused by pits in the silver. A finger print is in the lower right corner. The discoloration top center stems from the original process. The four corners of the plate were neatly rounded and all the sides were bent back. Red wax was smeared on the copper and a large block of wood was adhered to the reverse to secure the surface while the silver was buffed. The portrait is slightly loose inside the case that does have a weak hinge. I have mentioned the visible flaws in great detail but I suspect the next owner of the lads will celebrate enthusiastically like I did as the monumental masterwork is examined!