SOMEWHERE IN MEXICO…..most likely Mexico City, as this is where this exemplary half plate daguerreotype was found, purchased by a friend directly from a map and ephemera dealer in Mexico City. The image retains its original seals. It was likely made by a French daguerreian, as the passe-partout reverse painted glass was favored by them. The French had a presence in Mexico briefly from 1838-39 during a small “war.” Then again, starting in 1861, they helped take over the government and install Archduke Maximillian as emperor until they were defeated in 1867. The key question is whether this was made before or during that Second French Intervention in Mexico. Many large city daguerreians did make plates into the 1860s and we have seen dated dags as late as 1868 from Anson in NYC. So, it is very plausible that a French maker was in Mexico during this period of occupation or that a French maker was already in the city.
That elegant carriage I’m sure was reserved for the uppermost members of society and perhaps even royalty Who could the nearly ghostlike figure in a faint blue tinted dress, peering out looking up towards the camera, be? More research can be done, but what is for certain is the enormous rarity of a half plate daguerreotype expertly exposed, tinted, and taken in Mexico City. I’ve always been amazed how the two Appaloosas remained nearly still during the exposure. I bet the perfectly poised driver in Vaquero attire had much to do with that. The tones of the dag in hand more closely view like the close-up scan. The framed picture was taken with an iPhone to show the amazing frame that I was lucky to find for this unique daguerreotype. It measures 11.25 x 12.5 inches and shows well on the wall!