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Quarter Plate


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SKU: DJ-160 Category:

ON THEIR FRONT PORCH! Let me discuss the preparations that were necessary before this very curious archivally sealed quarter plate was taken. The daguerreotypist had to select an area and time when he could group the family together for their portrait. He wanted the four lovely little girls to be about the same height as their parents. A large chest or table was brought outside through the opening, visible above the backdrop, that was stretched taut across the space behind the family and secured on the right side to the open wooden door. The bright diffused illumination bathed each person equally. I love the interaction between the pairs of sisters. Doesn’t the youngest gal absolutely steal the scene? Why you might ask, is she the ONLY ONE of the people in relatively clear focus? I believe that no head restraints were used on any of the subjects and the exposure was several seconds long. All of them might have moved while the plate was exposed to light. However, the coverlet below the girls’ feet is blurry and nothing behind the sextet is sharp either. I can’t believe that the daguerreian could have missed the focus that badly. And I wonder if dad, who did not wear a jacket over his white shirt and vest, was the camera operator? That means that there was movement in the camera while the lens was uncapped. Because the manner light enters the lens then places their images on the silver, the center would be slightly sharper then anyway else. The surface was excellently prepared and it is free of defects. The depth is holographic! Patina flows nicely around them. Their common leather case is together. This is definitely a 19th century curio.