Sixth Plate



D15-104    Terms of Sale

A WHOLESOME WOMAN. She was taken circa 1843 by an operator who most likely experimented with the art form in New York City. I suggest the location since the notation written on Filmoplast applied to the back of the plate by a previous owner, Harvey Zucker, of the newly taped sixth plate mentioned that the subject was part of a collection of dags from the Meeker family who lived in Brooklyn. I know you might ask, “Why couldn't the marvelously framed piece have been taken there?” Surprisingly, in "Craig's Daguerreian Registry" John noted only three men operated in Brooklyn at that time. Across the East River in the city, many more skilled men and women were already plying their trade. Not only was the illumination done in a very artistic manner, the highly skilled daguerreotypist also tinted those darker stripes on her dress with blue pigment. That was not commonly done this early. The heavy plate with barely clipped corners and flat sides had no hallmark. Heavy horizontal buff strokes are visible but that appears to have been the only direction the silver was polished. The very thin brass mat was ornately stamped. The matronly patron wore wool gloves during the exposure. It should be obvious to all she wasn’t taken in the summer months! Her mouth was pleasant enough and her gaze into the lens was constant and steady. The pattern of her cotton collar completed with a narrow fringe was unusual. Oxidation has closed in around the woman along with plenty of mold spiders. None of those weird lines are scratches, simply breaks in the tarnish. I don’t know what material that deposit was on the woman’s mouth. I certainly didn’t want to run the risk of trying to soak it off in distilled water. A plain forest green silk pad is above the woman when the complete leather case, with a hinge at the top, is opened. While I realize that my price for this highly prized daguerreotype might seem excessive, as many of you know, my core collection of the finest very early dags begins with an example from October or November of 1839 and ends just on the cusp of when this person posed for the daguerreotypist. The rarity and importance of the very early examples can’t be over emphasized. Superlative plates such as this are almost unique in the marketplace.

For Purchase Inquiry Contact:
Dennis A. Waters at