FROM NEW YORK? I really can’t exactly explain why, but I always have thought that this magnificent archivally taped sixth plate daguerreotype was made along Broadway circa 1844 at the beginning of the halcyon days of daguerreotypy. Nothing has changed my mind over the past 27 years that I have owned the complacent chap. Stylistically, it seemed to me that the operators in that city were producing outstanding black and white daguerreotypes that nearly defied, even that early, what was really possible to place on a finely polished silver mirror. As you can see, a bit of rouge touched the gentleman’s cheeks, lips and hand, almost as an afterthought. He was dynamic enough without that colorful embellishment. Nothing in the process or the artistic arrangement of the subject could have been made better. Illumination from the left and a broad white reflector created perfect balance and definition. The operator asked his client to sit upright at an angle to the lens and look towards the back of the studio space. He assured the man that he would do the rest. I really would have enjoyed being in the room when the client was handed his complete leather case and patiently instructed how to view himself by the daguerreotypist in strong window light. He probably suggested that he angle the dag into the darkness of his jacket and tilt the likeness back and forth. Doubtlessly the gentleman was an educated soul but I wonder if he had previously been taken? Readers, if you like the looks of this guy and you want one phenomenal male portrait that is a holographic masterpiece, please consider this likeness. The mold spiders and patina are not factors in determining the overall excellent condition.
Phenomenal c1844 Male Portrait Daguerreotype