ELONGATED! Four children were seated for their half plate daguerreotype that was framed slightly longer then the standard 5 1/2 inches. And it was also 1/8 of an inch taller. The complete red leather case had an unusual lined surface more often associated with examples that were made in England. Someone glued in the red silk pad above the subjects, but since it fits perfectly, I suspect that it actually belonged inside when the original package was presented to the adult who had commissioned the unknown operator to record the kids on his double silvered and newly archivally restored plate. There is no doubt in my mind however, that the sitters were all-American kids who where taken in the United States. Curiously, the buffing was done in both vertical and horizon stokes! The costumes worn by each child would have been popular in the mid-1840s. This exquisite effort was probably made circa 1845-1846. Let me say that the reflected depth could not have been surpassed at the time they were taken. The contrast is also remarkable. Were the kids siblings? Since each one moved or blinked except for the curly haired lad, it is difficult to accurately study each face in detail. It is interesting to note that the main light lit the foursome from high above on the left, yet the boy nearest the window melded into the darkness of the background on his left side. Where the cloth ended more of the room was visible. I suspect that the daguerreotypist was stretched to the limit of what was possible in his realm yet the result was stunning! All those black specks (which are much less noticeable when the likeness is examined in hand) were part of the process. The brown dots and rich patina inside the rectangular paper mat covered with gold foil occurred during the aging process along with those mold mites, a couple are on the older gal?s cheek. Wasn?t she a budding dark eyed beauty! Faint tinting remains on each child?s face. I am intrigued by the little girl?s striped dress. Look closely at the bottom third. The lines don?t match up. Was the bottom portion added on later? The manner that the cloth was folded in the center is rather curious too. This is an outstanding likeness that will satisfy even the most demanding collector of children?s gems!