When all of our research has failed to locate those very interesting architectural structures behind the beasts and their drover, whose filthy clothes and rather unique hat can?t be accurately identified as belonging to a certain race or sect and the leaves on the trees are just indistinct enough to not permit pinpointing them to a specific local, it is time to say what was obvious! The horizontal masterwork was made BECAUSE of the animals. The daguerreian even used gold to tint the metallic caps on their trimmed horns. The gent was included because he was master of the pair and most likely was hired by local farmers when ?heavy lifting? was required. I doubt the deeply tanned fellow was their owner. However, the person who bought them probably paid for their portrait. Obviously, they were taken before the sun had fully risen or just prior to sunset. The third possibility, on a day with high thin clouds that obscured direct sunlight. At least three sides of a path bordered that grassy rectangle. The detail in the ?stars? of the scene and the gent was absolutely remarkable. The oxen didn?t waver although the lead animal?s head seems soft. I feel that a portrait lens was used and an inherent area was soft because of poorly ground glass optics. Beyond the furthest left horn, a tethered horse was in profile and a man wearing white leaned against a post supporting that overhang. Myself, along with several other folks who have studied the plate all thought that the construction of the buildings might have indicated the dag was taken in a Shaker Community. That proof is lacking. Does it really matter where this remarkable slice of Americana was located? The strength of the oxen, the character of the gent and the perfection the daguerreotypist obtained made this into a tour de force. The ambiance is nothing short of amazing. The sixth plate was professionally re-cleaned and archivally sealed by Casey. I believe the piece was executed circa 1852. The complete leather case has an embossed red pad inside.