DID HE SEE GOLD? Since he was seated sideways, with one arm wrapped over the back of that painted chair, and the dark cloth behind him was definitely wrinkled, I would suggest that the fellow was taken on his sixth plate somewhere in the field by an itinerant operator. The polishing of the silver was accomplished with resulting furrows in places. Especially on the gent?s shoulder. I doubt that a head restraint was used. The subject combed his hair and trimmed his beard for the session. His heavy shirt with a thick pile was well worn and stained. The man was either an artisan in a rural region or else he had traveled west in the crush of 49ers to seek out his fortune. Someone sealed the piece in 1994 and all the doubled white specks would disappear with restoration today. There are a few mold spiders. The mat style and leather case, that has a professionally done leather hinge, indicate that the subject was taken circa 1850-1851.