Doves of Peace or War Eagles adorning that man’s boots? He had a rock hard countenance and a glacial stare at the daguerreotypist who must have been wondering, “Will I survive this sixth plate effort?” Was that head restraint necessary? This dude appeared ready, willing and able to freeze in an instant and uncoil a vicious punch with one of his powerful hands in the blink of an eye. There are very few subjects in daguerreotypes who have actually “frightened” me when I opened the repaired leather case. Speaking about the technical side of the equation, the operator actually missed the focus slightly, thus rendering his customer softer than normal. Since the sun-darkened fellow was pressed for time, he didn’t even wipe the mud off his footwear! Once the finished piece was presented, he took it with barely a glance and departed. The overall appearance of the surface, heavy buff strokes, and the harsh side lighting must have meant that the maker was working either in a small town or he was an itinerant. If you carefully look on the left side, where the cloth drop ends, a thin slice of wallpaper was visible. I have never encountered a rougher appearing person taken in a full-length character study. Those boots are absolutely unique to my experienced eyes. Because they were crisp, it almost seems like they were the reason and focus of the entire lightly cleaned and archivally sealed portrait! Tarnish bulges away from the mat on the right side. Lots of daguerreian frosting (the teeny white dots in the darkest areas) was present. Residual scum and mold mites are also visible. The marks across his arm are not scratches. There is a reflective brightness that my reproduction can’t duplicate. This gent is absolutely explosive!
WERE THEY . . .