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Perfect! Faultless! Majestic! Splendiferous! Yes readers, I really like the archivally preserved half plate of the adorable little gal, who stood on a chair and rested one pudgy arm on a tabletop. How daring was Mr. Shew, selecting this pose for a young child? From my own professional experience (yes, photographing architecture wasn’t the only assignments I ever accepted) I NEVER would have EVER even briefly considered arranging a kid like this. Shew, who worked at 68 J Street in Sacramento California, when he made this masterpiece circa 1858, was born in 1826 in upstate New York. He and his three brothers were the most prolific daguerreian family in America. Please see pages 340-341 in John Craig’s “Daguerreian Registry” for further information about the brothers. Samuel F.B. Morse, who many consider the father of America Daguerreotypy, supposedly instructed Jacob in the art. Shew had been an active daguerreotypist since 1841. He was still at the zenith of his very long career when his young subject was brought into his operating room. Her mother or a maid carefully dressed her. Certainly Shew would have consulted with wealthy parents before making the exemplary piece. Razor sharp focus reveals every nuance including the kid’s frowning mouth and wrinkled forehead. His illumination came from almost directly above and brilliantly enveloped the tiny angel. No reproduction can begin to reveal the immense power of her portrait. At every angle of view, another thrilling perspective is gained. The nearly pristine Eickmeyer style leather case has a plain royal blue velvet pad inside. I guess one question that probably won’t ever be answered is, “who were her parents?”