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Quarter Plate


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SKU: D15-034 Category:

WHO WAS . . . “G. H. Tallett Daguerreian” I wondered when I removed the horizontal resealed quarter plate family portrait from a very decorative intact plush red velvet book style case and saw the label adhered to the bottom of the dag compartment. Well, reaching for my copy of Craig’s Daguerreian Registry revealed that a gent by that name plied his trade circa 1859 in Clayton NY. Where might you ask was Clayton . . . well I certainly did! The village hugs the southeastern shore of the St. Lawrence River a few miles north and west of Watertown. That was interesting I thought, but what really surprised me was G.H.’s use of this wicked thin brass mat lined with paper that was also favored by Brady, Vance and Hesler from time to time and usually much earlier. Mother and her children were nicely presented but even at this very late date in the daguerreian era, Tallett didn’t quite achieve the usual perfection that most of his peers attained. The focus was acceptable, except for the lass on the left and the illumination worked well especially on the younger kids and mom. The blue solarization somewhat hidden by tinting made for a “colorful” portrait. I believe that the stains across the top and along the left were from the original processing of the piece. The vertical folds on the right appear to have been an out of focus drape. There is a rust spot near the little gal’s lovely purse. At the best angle of viewing the family their likeness actually resonates. One small square of velvet is missing on the bottom of the case. I will add that I had never seen the Tallett label previously.