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Sixth Plate


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SKU: D17-5 Category:

ONE DARK LOOP! I believe that this sailor was converted into a gold miner. He wore an earring for his restored sixth plate. The portrait is quite impressive although admittedly the daguerreian?s lens had a large natural area of softness that rendered the resolute fellow?s face slightly mushy. The callow sailor’s earring was almost lost in the shadow of his delightful straw hat that had a ribbon around the crown. The feel of the image strongly tells me that he was taken AFTER he jumped ship, most likely docked in San Francisco harbor and he followed the path of thousands of other men and a few women. The lure of El Dorado took them into the hills and valleys of northern California. Light came into the makeshift studio from directly behind the camera. In the areas of the dag where the focus was razor sharp the nap of that heavy woolen jacket and trousers was revealed. Even the intricate weaving of his chapeau. The lightest areas were solarized (another indicator that he might have been taken ?in the field? by an itinerant). There are deep buff strokes too. I am still impressed by those penetrating hooded dark eyes and that firmly set mouth. I wonder if the subject really knew the hardships he would soon face. Maybe he had already panned for gold in the cold cascading streams or rivers and this was his reward for surviving. Much of the silver surrounding the fellow is covered with speckled tarnish. Red pigment was crudely splashed on his cheeks. Also of interest was the fact that the man?s patron was seated close to the neutral cloth backdrop. His head and hat cast a pale shadow on the left side. Those white specks were either dust trapped in the gold chloride or teeny bubbles in the silver. The chap is kept in a complete leather case.