WHY THE SHADOW? Was someone lurking just beyond the visible range of the daguerreian’s lens; over there on the right side of the background? The attractive and well-behaved youngster was completely oblivious while he sat so calmly with his tiny hands resting on one leg. I just revisited those darker regions with a loupe and realized that the black blobs might have occurred when the archivally sealed sixth plate was being developed. Aside from that odd circle on the boy’s chin and collar, none of the remaining flotsam and jetsam really affect the neatly groomed kid’s character. The deep depth and fine contrast cause the child to sparkle on his silver palette! That was a wooden floor across the bottom of the image that is kept in a leather case with a missing cover.