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Half Plate


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SKU: CJAR Category:

WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE? These are the questions I pose to all of you? On page 486-487 image #1988 a variant of this remarkable half plate daguerreotype was reproduced in YOUNG AMERICA The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes. I do not know the basis for the attribution beyond the listing that mentioned the piece was in the George Eastman House Collection. I can tell you with 100% certainty that the masterwork offered for sale was not made by them. The plate was not double silvered. There are no distinctive plate holder clip marks top center and lower center. A red wax was used on the copper to secure the plate during the polishing process. Admittedly, the larger then half plate size domed mat was similar to one that the firm used, however as Casey pointed out after recleaning the silver and finishing the conservation the overall dimensions were slightly different. Also, I had never seen a bonafide S&H daguerreotype presented in the style of the leather case that houses this daguerreotype. The geometric impression on the cover was used circa 1846-1848. The reverse is plain and there is an unmarked purple silk pad opposite Jesus. My second and third questions should be obvious. Who was responsible for the original crucifixion sculpture, probably done in marble? Also, how large was it? Those letters across the top, INRI were apparently an abbreviation for the Latin inscription, “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Ludaeorum” or “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of The Jews”! It should be instantly obvious to everyone that the daguerreotypist created a phenomenal reproduction of the original! The sharpness of focus on the figure was superlative. The contrast and tonality were sensational. The depth is so holographic that in proper illumination a viewer might have the feeling that they could walk around the glorious artifact! I tried to make my scan very exacting. The scratches, rubs and damage to the surface are quite obvious. Never the less, this is a unique portrait amongst the uniqueness of all fine dags.