When the Langenheim brothers daguerreotyped the sisters, circa 1845-1846 and framed them with this hand-cut gilded paper mat accentuated by a blue octagonal line, they were already considered one of the greatest daguerreian firms in the country. Although the little girl couldn?t remain motionless during the quarter plate?s exposure, her sister was certainly prepared to do her best to guarantee a great result. She held one tiny hand and draped her arm behind the tot, whose blurred expression screams out her displeasure at the process even so today?s viewers ?feel? her anguish! If you look very closely, the reticent gal withdrew her hand from near her sibling?s neck about half way through the ordeal, leaving a ghostly shadow there. I guess the bigger question to contemplate was, ?How did the lovely older child stay unmoving?? Wasn?t her mouth and large liquid brown eyes absolutely beautiful? Oh to have a portrait of the girl 10 years later! This archivally taped likeness really was a glorious achievement. The main source of light entered the space from above the kids on the left side and resplendently bathed them brightly. A reflector would have been placed on the right side to complete the actual sculpting of their faces and forms. Standing any kid on a chair would have been fraught with potential problems. Yet the daguerreian brothers had enough confidence in their own skills and in the girl?s ability to control the smaller tyke to forge ahead and make this superb example. There is a fingerprint in the upper right corner, faint spots mostly in the deep blue/brown patina and nearly invisible mold mites widely scattered. Casey has made a new leather spine on the black case. Inside, impressed in the red felt pad was ?W. & F. Langenheim Philadelphia Exchange?.
PERFECTION IN PHILADELPHIA!