“1856” . . . Was etched into the silvered mirror underneath the gent’s elbow before his newly sealed sixth plate was presented to him. And hidden underneath the brass mat “JOHN” was also scribed (see the second scan of the naked surface). So, was the fellow named John or was that the surname of the daguerreotypist? In fact folks, checking Craig?s dag compendium revealed that there was a gent, J. W. John who operated in 1860 at 632 Arch St. in Philadelphia! Could Mr. John also have been an operator earlier? I like the man?s very strong pose and his intense but not unfriendly focused gaze into the lens. He absolutely leaps off the surface because of wonderful plate prep and remarkable contrast along with holographic depth. The marks mostly in the upper right quadrant of the image don?t detract from the power of the person! Only the bottom of a leather case remains.
1856 Etched on Surface