HE MADE SHOES. Casey and I are equal partners on this pair of amazing daguerreotypes that show the same fellow, in his occupation as a shoemaker then later in life about seven years down the road as a man who had succeeded in his craft. Casey has archivally conserved both the sixth plate and the later quarter plate. The cobbler?s fancy leather case will have a new spine soon. I have made a scan of the cover. The reverse is identical except that the image of the bird was not stamped in the center. The original mat was as you see it now. Many years ago, the surface of the spectacularly reflected silvery mirror was probably cleaned and for an unknown reason an oval mat was put in place. Hence the mat scrapes and the ring of re-tarnish is visible. There are a few mold spiders on the shoes and inside the brim of that spectacular straw hat. Many of the instruments the artisan would have used in his trade have been laid out on a table in front of him. He held a piece of leather and a metallic tool in his strong hands. A filthy leather apron was worn over what I believe was a typical workingman?s shirt that was hand colored red. The daguerreian?s patron sat for this portrait circa 1846-1847. The fellow?s choice of his maker was excellent. After the sitting he was presented with one of the great technical triumphs I have seen in recent years. The initial preparation of the SCOVILLS hallmarked plate was superb. The range of tonality and the extreme limits of contrast were both wonderfully achieved. The slight solarization added magic to the appearance. The pinpoint focus perfectly presented the subject?s remarkable countenance to everyone who might have seen this masterwork. The guy?s angular face was framed in between by a low beard and the textured chapeau. His small mouth was drawn up into a quizzical expression amplified by the wrinkles on his forehead. That long aquiline nose anchored the center of his handsome dark face. Above all else, those liquid sparkling eyes peered inquisitively into the lens. No matter how I angle the piece, the subject?s wonderful orbs continue to watch me. The formal portrait was skillfully made by a daguerreotypist who was extremely confident in his abilities. Once again all the aspects of plate polishing and chemistry were perfect. The illumination was from a skylight, which helped render the sitter?s mature face into a three-dimensional object on his highly reflective palette. Once again, the gent?s character leaps out from the bottom of his leather case that is a missing cover. This was the high art of portraiture circa 1853-1854. As you can plainly see, there are mat scrapes at the bottom since the actual plate size was slight smaller then the standard mat. When Casey does restoration it has always been preferably to place these types of abrasions at the bottom rather then the top. The maker actually picked an area on the field of white to simulate a diamond, but over time, his heavy touch permitted a copper bloom to grow in that area.