Sixth Plate



CW-197    Terms of Sale

DAGUERREIAN LORE . . . Suggests that Mathew Brady was a leather case maker prior to becoming a daguerreotypist in New York City sometime around 1842-1843. The colorful figure in this resealed sixth plate was framed by a usual stamped brass mat. His heavy plate had these hallmarks, “40” and “H.S.” The corners were barely clipped and the sides of the dag were flat. Horrible moisture laden old glass was responsible for some of the silver’s degradation. Extreme tarnish covers much of the surface. Although the fellow had a rather rudimentary likeness taken, circa 1844, I would really have enjoyed seeing the original. He wore a wary expression while the lens was uncapped. Because his jacket was painted blue and he had such a distinguished tie it might be easy to suggest he was a man of the sea. But his pale complexion sort of belies that train of thought. Whatever held his neckerchief in place received white paint. There are the faintest nearly invisible parallel lines running diagonally across the portrait. The early complete leather case had a horizontal motif with a lyre in the center that was favored by Mr. Brady. In fact, “M.B. Brady Case Maker N.Y.” was part of the embossed cover that had a plain reverse. Inside, the subject was held in place with blue piping and a faded contrasting silk pad.

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Dennis A. Waters at