At first glance, I thought of the old adage, a picture says a thousand words?! Then I was wondering if I could relate all my thoughts in such a brief expression. However, there was more to the tableau than first met my eyes. Because, along with this extraordinary and wicked rare resealed (not by us) sixth size masterpiece was an envelope and the original letter contained inside. (I have scanned those objects and will permit you all to read them). There is also a cdv shown front and back. Inspection of it will further your knowledge and flesh out the story. Ellwood Garrett, who operated his gallery at 66 Market St. in Wilmington Delaware, according to the information pressed into the red velvet pad opposite the three gents, worked at that location beginning December 1850 until he turned his business over to his sons 20 years later. His sister Sally was also a daguerreotypist until her untimely demise circa 1853. Garrett?s mastery made this portrait absolutely outstanding. He sat his three clients across the horizontal dimension of the silvered mirror, creating two utterly different scenes. The two older men, one holding the wedding ring and the other a brightly tinted floral boutonniere, were visually and physically intertwined while the lad on the left was a tightly coiled enigmatic figure. Even after digesting the letter?s explanation for this wonderful likeness, his reason for being included remains unknown. Light bathed the figures from above, on the left side of the studio. Surely a white reflector was just off camera on the right. Marvelous depth and fantastic contrast added to the overall brilliance. There are spots around the men and small mold mites. Also scattered bits of oxidation. Every daguerreotype tells a story folks. This one exceeded the 19th century boundaries of visual acuity! I hope that you enjoyed the image and the tale told. The piece is kept in a complete leather case.
THE PROPOSAL . . .