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Sixth Plate


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SKU: D19-26 Category:

ON HIS FRONT PORCH. Such a curious portrait that had been resealed with an incorrect mat that nearly replicated the original oval opening on the sixth sized daguerreotype. The inner ring of oxidation was created over time when the current smaller opening brass mat was placed on top of the gentleman’s silvery mirror. While inspecting the naked plate with the two long sides bent back and crimped along the edges, I noticed oval mat marks that suggested a wider opening surround was first used. In fact, the current mat when I received the image, wasn?t seen until circa 1852. The hallmark on the heavy plate, a unique six-pointed ?star? and an early ?40? imprint, were used circa 1842-1844. I didn?t have a suitable oval mat that would mimic the original but I decided to use the rectangular gold gilded paper example that still was in common use when the fellow was taken circa 1844. The ancient subject clasped his large gnarled fingers together and placed his hands in his lap while he sat patiently waiting for his maker to execute the exposure, which would have been rapid even at the time he was taken. Indirect daylight from behind the camera illuminated the serene sitter. The oddly shaded darker blues were caused by the itinerant’s chemistry, while the pale blue hues were solarization. I suspect that the location of the portrait was on a veranda attached to the man’s home. That was either an open door or window directly behind him that was flanked by large wooden shutters. The ghostly child sized chair to his right was very odd indeed. The lighter blue solarized out of focus areas on either edge of the likeness received about the same amount of light as the gentleman, who must have been 80 years old or more. Since the daguerreotype arrived without a case I have placed the archivally sealed image into a warped leather case that has a new leather spine done by Casey. Inside is green velvet piping and a splendid jade hued perfect silk pad.