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Sixth Plate


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SKU: D14-169 Category:

DAMSEL WITH DARK DUSKY EYES! A young country girl was taken to or visited by a daguerreian who either operated in a rural setting or traveled the rutted back roads of America plying his trade while producing resealed sixth size portraits of people not accustom to visiting cities. Not only is the teenager’s likeness timeless, her innocent appearance and softly rendered face has created difficulty (for me) to accurately guess at her age when she posed circa 1845. Curiously her raven’s tresses were parted off-center and the loosely coiled ringlets cascaded beyond her small shoulders. The homespun dress was either previously worn by another female in her family or it was crafted for the lass, and was definitely the best garment she owned. I just noticed what might have been a wedding band on her ring finger (keep in mind that her image was laterally reversed). That could indicate that she was recently married. Broad illumination flowed through a large window compressing her features but exciting the sheen of the fabric. The cloth across the back of the space had flowing vertical folds that deceive our senses into believing the drop was in motion. Deep buff strokes and imprecise focus immediately should indicate to all of us that the camera operator had less than true talent for making fine daguerreotypes! Yet here we see a most compelling almost mysterious subject. There are four large mold spiders and no oxidation on the silver. The fine dark lines on the sitter’s cheeks would have been created when the daguerreotypist roughly applied red rouge, subsequently removed by an earlier cleaning. The leather case with the most popular geometric design mid-1840 is in two parts. The red cushion inside was embossed with a single leaf. There really was something intangible about the young bride the day she was taken that still impresses today. Obviously, only one collector will have the pleasure of realizing how marvelous she was.