Sixth Plate



D12-156    Terms of Sale

A LESSON LEARNED. Normally I don't include the brass protectors in my reproductions of archivally taped sixth plate daguerreotypes, however I think that this might be the very earliest usage, circa 1844, that I have ever acquired. While the seals were not original, the mat, protector and top hinged leather case (with the hinge gone and one rail missing) seemed to go together. I say this because the unmarked plate had been hand cut from a larger piece of stock. The four corners were not clipped and three edges were slightly bent up! The sides were perfectly flat. No one to my knowledge was using this style later then 1844. As a general rule, I have always contended that protectors were not used, and then sporadically at first, until 1845. The Philadelphia school of most of the major daguerreotypists seemed to resist the new fad until the late 1840s. They also, as a group, used the rectangular paper mats, covered with gold foil, on many examples later then other operators. Who might we all ask created such a monumental masterpiece? The composition so simple at first glance was expertly done. Naturally, the illumination and the stunningly handsome subject, with his firm friendly mouth and those intense light toned eyes helped immensely to make such a marvelous remembrance. Unfortunately, the amazing tinting on the man's face was partially washed off when the silver was previously cleaned. The patina is beautiful although the white bands are noticeable. Casey and I are perplexed about a series of parallel hatch marks that begin at the gentleman's collar on the right side and run in a straight line to the edge of the mat. They were covered by a layer of gold chloride, so we know that they were on silver the day the dag was executed. We saw them by accident and I will guarantee the next owner, if you don't strive to find them, you never will know they are there.

For Purchase Inquiry Contact:
Dennis A. Waters at