WHO WERE THEY? And that is the least of my questions folks. According to my notations written on the archival seal, the medium weight hand cut plate had square corners and flat sides. I also suspected that the mat might not have been original to the sixth plate daguerreotype that someone previously cleaned. The complete leather case, with an unusual geometric theme on both sides and a red silk pad opposite the sitter, who must have been an educated and perfectly delightful woman to converse with, fits perfectly for the date she was taken in the second half of 1843. Now for those inquiries. The camera operator didn?t quite have his polishing technique in order, leaving heavy parallel buff strokes that are apparent at certain angles. However, he was an artistic genius, using brilliant side lighting that accentuated the dark eyed lady?s features perfectly. Her lithographed companion was also fairly rendered. I am aware of the printed words below the bust but I haven?t been able to decipher them. The subject?s dress and scarf that was attached together by a marvelous large rectangular piece of jewelry were both wonderful. I also think the use of her shawl wrapped across her lower arms was beautifully arranged. The gal?s large inquisitive eyes continue to attract my own gaze, which she returns in kind. Of course, you are all waiting for me to tell you what the heck was going on in that background. That dark geometric shape looks like a wood or coal stove, yes? The foliage, mountains and unidentifiable forms are rather confusing. Was the man?s patron seated in front of a sheer sheet that revealed the background? Was part of the cloth painted with those designs? Maybe there was a large window set at the back of the room and we have an out of focus impression partially in the studio and beyond outdoors! The folds in the fabrics of the lady?s garments and the patterns were incredible. The contrast attained by the daguerreian was superb. While part of the piece may be a real conundrum, the powerful portrayal of the female trumps all! There are very thin nearly invisible wipes upper right. A few mat scrapes and white dots are also on the silver.