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Half Plate

$15,500.00

Available

D13-221    Terms of Sale

MONUMENT(AL) DAG! I have attempted to decipher the information chiseled on those white plaques encircled by the fancy rosettes but thus far, even with an 8x loupe and a high resolution scan, the names and dates have eluded me. However, the touching sentiment outlined in black is easy to read. The highly decorative memorial was elegantly carved and although the archivally restored half plate daguerreotype is kept in a black plain leather Boston style push button case, there is absolutely no evidence that this tombstone marker was taken by any daguerreian associated with the city. The surface was not electroplated nor are there obvious clip marks top and bottom (as seen on most all of the images that Southworth & Hawes produced in this large size). For once my use of ethereal really does work. The delicate tracery of the object, the ferns and flowers nearby and the bark on the nearest tree were all accentuated by brilliant though shaded light that bounced around from every direction. That wrought iron fence was meant to keep people out but those spirits of the deceased were free to leave. The dappled light through the leaves behind the tableau was inspirational! The overall tonality supersedes all but a handful of extant outdoor dags! The creaminess of the statue was in stark contrast to the realities of nature and the natural path that all of us must follow. A few mat marks and mold spiders are so minor that I shouldn’t need to mention them. Lovely original blue patina adds pleasant color. If you have desire to own only one object in your collection, please consider this amazing, holographic Herculean effort!

I owe a sincere debt of gratitude to Peter Tyson for his research which recently revealed this: “I think it's the tombstone of Cecelia Augusta Wyman, a composer, who married Luther B. Wyman, Esq. The rosette on the left says: Cecelia A. Wife of L. B. Wyman The rosette on the right says: Died Feb. 6 (or 8?) 1847, [Age] 32 Years 9 Mo The stanza on the tomb comes from a poem titled "To the Memory of Mrs. Luther B. Wyman" published in the 1858 book Pen and Pencil by Mary Balmanno (see attachments, which also include a short obit of Luther). As you'll see in the attachment labeled "p268", at the end of the poem it says "The last stanza is engraved on her white marble tomb, in the Greenwood Cemetery". So the dag was taken in Brooklyn. But by whom, one wonders?”

For Purchase Inquiry Contact:
Dennis A. Waters at dennis@finedags.com