I NEVER WAVERED! The moment I purchased these children in 1994 I KNEW that the surface should never be cleaned. New glass and an archival seal certainly were necessary though. When all the other extant Southworth and Hawes portraits have been judged, this meteoric sixth plate will certainly soar grandly, forever in the highest heavens; since many won’t believe that mere mortals could possibly have created such beauty and elegance on one small electroplated artifact. The children were identified as: ?Sarah Cabot Minot, born Jan. 28, 1845 and Mary Minot, born Dec. 26, 1846?. The Boston partners used their classic, soft focus technique to absolute perfection! The placement of their familiar chair and column, represent divine inspiration. Light chocolate brown tarnish covering most of the surface is a distraction, along with a few mold spiders, especially the one on Mary’s left eye, but those flaws don’t diminish the spectacular importance presented in the siblings? sensational childhood portrait today! The sisters were framed with a very wide opening, double elliptical mat and simple brass protector. The very plain, whole leather case might seem much earlier than the date of this masterpiece, circa 1848-49. I have carefully examined many examples from the late 1840s that the partners created and I realized years ago that S&H continued to use these simple cases, with plain velvet pads, much later than most makers. I have examples of this identical case containing their dags prior to the dawn of their partnership in 1843. This daguerreotype was reproduced on page 294, example 244 in Young America The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes. A companion piece is in the George Eastman House Collection.