IT WAS A SMILE! When Jeremiah Gurney, or one of his many operators ?got it right? their quarter plate daguerreotypes equaled the best efforts of all the top tier makers. The young lad leaps off the perfectly polished plate, as he sat comfortably on the front edge of the padded chair and rested his arm on the familiar tablecloth. Unreal reflected depth; magnificent illumination and superb contrast are all instantly evident when the broken top is picked off the bottom of the leather push button case that was embellished on both sides with a common floral arrangement. Opposite the boy, who was perfectly dressed and neatly groomed, is an awesome deep forest green velvet pad that has a central theme of flowers, surrounded by a leafy border. There is a faint mold spider on the subject’s temple (on the left side) a few other mold mites elsewhere and a wreath of patina hugging the oval mat opening. There are also half a dozen blue/brown minuscule specks. The brass surround is plainly stamped in the lower right corner: ?J. Gurney 349 Broadway?. He operated at that location, his second studio on Broadway, from late 1855 into 1860. It’s almost prophetic that the youth was wearing a military style waist jacket, because he might have been enlisted in the late stages off the Civil War. Casey has archivally resealed the piece using new glass.