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SKU: DJ-115 Category:

Obviously, I saw all the physical flaws on the surface of the sixth plate before I considered making the purchase. Yet I was totally intrigued by the threesome standing there with equal light sources on either side of them. I immediately suspected they were inside a Daguerreian Wagon. Once home I put the leather case in a drawer and forgot about the image for a week. Casey was traveling and I needed to complete a reseal for a client and I thought that would be a good time to see what was under the mat on this example. When I removed the image from the case, I was immediately delighted and disappointed. There was a considerable amount of penciled gibberish written on the paper (see second scan). I turned the case upside down and began to realize that the inscription was done BACKWARDS! What was someone trying to imply or keep secret I thought. I hadn’t made reproductions yet so I took the case into the bathroom and held it in front of a mirror. Reading from top to bottom at first didn’t surprise me UNTIL I reread the names of the subjects (see third scan). I went back and looked at the dag closely and realized that yes indeed SHE was a HE. Frank Smith, on the right, was from Ellsworth (most likely Maine) although it is less clear where Ms. Buckley resided. Mr. Decker lived in “North East”. My conclusion is simple, even in mid-19th century Maine; there were deep dark secrets that were closely held. I have had two other daguerreotypes in 24 years of collecting that I suspected presented men as women, but never one so plainly identified. By the way, I am not 100% certain that they were in a dag vehicle. I am still infatuated with the primitiveness of their remarkable portrait!