D15-147 Terms of Sale
WHARTON CASE. While the very early English sized sixth plate daguerreotype is absolutely intriguing, the brass pinchbeck case surrounding the reverse is equally important. Stamped into the metal was: "T. Wharton 24 August 1841”. There was a "2" impressed in the lower corner on the copper side of the very heavy plate that had square corners and flat sides. The woman holding the baby looked absolutely distraught. Her mouth was slack and those eyes were vacant and they conveyed great sadness. Her rounded shoulders seemed slumped forward. The child had a white mask of cloth covering its eyes when the exposure was taken. We must ascertain that this was a very difficult daguerreotype to produce since the grieving mother was required to remain as motionless as possible while holding her deceased offspring. Remember, postmortem daguerreotypes weren’t that common yet when this one was produced in late 1841 or early 1842. The whitest areas of the surface were solarized blue. Tinting was applied to the child’s flesh. Bountiful oxidation has bloomed on the silver and there are numerous mat scrapes inside the decorative oval brass mat. It is difficult to tell if gold chloride had been applied as the final step in the process. Because there appears to be odd “tide lines” I suspect a crude effort was attempted using the recently announced process. The dag is kept in a typical wine-colored pigskin leather case that hinges at the top.
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Erin Waters at email@example.com