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Sixth Plate


Out of stock

SKU: D07-13 & D17-005 Category:

VERY INTERESTING! I have examined the character with his extensive curly locks and neatly clipped, low bushy beard and I can’t be certain what his station in life was or even why he appears so self-confident in his sixth plate portrait. His position on the silver was also strange since he was seated, while placing his arm on a chair back that was next to him. The small object he held might have been a book or a leather wallet. Was he in a hurry and ready to pay the moment the brass lens was capped? The bright light entering the makeshift studio, reflected in his eyes, created a mysterious, glossy, glazed gaze. He was an intense fellow. I am also fascinated by the arrangement behind his head, two-thirds dark and the remainder a contrasting lighter shade. Even more interesting is information contained on the remaining scraps of the original newspaper seal. California was prominently mentioned along with CHASE and E.B. Chase (possibly the Boston daguerreotypist at the time this resealed plate was made, circa 1849-52). I am certain that the plate, having large swathes of tarnish around the sitter, was a “rush job” because of the studio arrangements and the soft blue solarization in the whites. What I can’t determine was the location of the itinerant’s operations. The intentions of the subject were also unclear. Was he a traveling evangelist (with a mighty, but small Bible clutched in that large hand)? Could he have been a gold miner and that was his diary? Cleary his image creates questions that might forever remain unanswered UNLESS his is an identifiable face. The half leather case has an uncommon geometric imprint. And then there was another retaped sixth plate that I recently found in a box of dags that had conditions issues. I couldn?t believe it at first, the fellow was a younger version of the first man. He too was taken in front of the same type of background arrangement, with the main light source entering the space from the left, which was identical to the other portrait. This fellow also held a small object in his hand. His flesh and shirtfront were even more solarized than the other guy. They were framed by identical oval brass mats. Dag number one also had a very unusual brass protector. While that example didn?t have a hallmark, this piece was a heavy plate with a SCOVILLS imprint. The reverse of the leather case was plain and is missing the cover. Light red pigments were painted on the self-assured dude?s face and lips. There is broad patina, brown dots, mold spiders and plate decay on the surface. Thin paper seals were used the day this lad was taken. I offer the intriguing pair together although they might not have been connected or known each other in their lifetimes.