?WHIPPLE?S? . . . Was faintly stamped in the lower right corner of the half plate oval brass mat indicating that the lady visited his 96 Washington St. gallery in Boston to have her outstanding portrait taken. John Whipple was one of the best daguerreian?s in the country, but because he had to compete against the firm of Southworth & Hawes . . . many collectors tend to overlook his consistent level of excellence. Sublime illumination entered the operating room through a skylight. The location of a reflector on the right was perfectly positioned to eliminate any harsh shadows. The crispness of focus, the shallow depth of field and the astounding tonality with great contrast and reflected depth couldn?t be surpassed. However, wasn?t it the subject, so majestically posed, who really made all his efforts so successful. The woman?s turned head, soft smile and intense dark eyes, which peered away from the lens, worked in harmony with the efforts of her maker to create this masterwork on silver. The marks in the shaded backdrop (which was most likely a spinning disc that Whipple used to produce those different tones) are not scratches, but blemishes from weeping glass. There are more water spots elsewhere, most nearly invisible. The woman?s likeness was nothing short of a superlative daguerreotype made by a true master of the art. Casey made a new leather spine of the case.