Sixth Plate



D07-168    Terms of Sale

MORE INTRIGUE! A stunning archivally sealed sixth plate using the original glass since the size was odd and the surface of the dag had two large bubbles in the silver. I didn't want to take any chances while the plate was naked. The glass was in surprisingly good condition. The plate was crudely cut from a larger piece of stock. The corners were square. Each side was perfectly flat, as one would expect in a portrait in 1842. The silver was pitted and buffed both in a circular fashion and horizontally. The very handsome teenager with large liquid eyes was daguerreotyped against the flowing folds of fabric draped behind him. The illumination was extremely sophisticated! A large window behind the camera on the left side of the room was the conveyor of the main source of light. A smaller opening overhead on the right completed the brilliant lighting scheme! I’m not certain what the bright area lower right was, although it appears to have been in front of the erudite chap! The artistic quality displayed in this masterpiece was virtually unsurpassed in the very early period. The low camera angle assured the sitter that he would be seen by anyone who opened his complete leather case as a person of importance and prominence! His shock of hair framed that marvelous, chiseled face with perfect proportionality. That high neck stock and the slightly solarized white collar supported his noble countenance. The three-dimensionality naturally produced by the light and separation of the sitter from the cloth can’t be overstated. It was truly a marvelous effort with magical results. There were many pits in the plate and several places where pieces of dust were trapped in the layer of shellac or varnish that was applied to protect the surface. The discoloration above the man’s head appears to be clumps of that application. Patina follows the outline of the paper mat that was covered with gold foil. The case had domed covers. It was stamped with a flower in each corner on the front along with a double set of parallel rectangular lines making a box. Inside the corners a second fanciful design was impressed, but only on the obverse. A plain purple velvet pad rested above the gent since the hinge was along the top. This brilliant achievement would have a prominent place in any advanced collection.

For Purchase Inquiry Contact:
Dennis A. Waters at