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Sixth Plate


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SKU: D17-26 Category:

VERY DIRECT! The operator basically knew how to prepare his sixth plate, fume the silver, illuminate his handsome young subject and count off the number of seconds properly to insure a correct exposure. He even used a large white cloth or plain wall on the left to soften any shadows. The kid certainly was relaxed in front of the lens. He was seated on a tiny chair and crossed one leg over the other. Both his hands rested on his thighs. His focused gaze never wavered while the exposure was made. As I have noted on other fine dags, time was not kind to the resealed (by another hand) portrait. The lovely patina inside the honeycombed mat was nice. It helps hide the mat scrapes or was that a fingerprint, at the top above the kid’s wild curly head of hair. The dark shape sprouting up might have been a portion of the daguerreian’s cast iron head restraint. The boy dressed formally for his likeness, choosing a waistcoat, wild striped vest and a polka-dotted bowtie! Some yellow pigment was applied to a portion of the cloth accentuated with those bold diagonal lines! I suspect that might have been a watch attached to the string strung round his neck. A white handkerchief was visible in his slash pocket. He certainly was a young dandy AND in the bottom of his separated leather case with a horizontal basket of flowers on the cover, this penciled information has survived: “B C Davy Kingston October 18 (my birthday in case you all wondered) 1845.” BUT below that inscription was this: J Burrett taken 12 June 1846 at . . . . . . .” So we have a bit of a conundrum here folks. I’m really not certain which date is correct but I err on the side of the earlier note since it was written neater and centered on the paper.