Sixth Plate



D7-83    Terms of Sale

THE FIRST ERA. A spectacular very early portrait of two little girls wearing bonnets and boldly patterned dresses. The very heavy plate was stamped Corduan & Co. NY. It had square corners and flat sides. Unfortunately, the silver surface has exfoliated badly on both sides of the kids after a precious owner inadvisably attempted to clean the surface. Please folks, IF you don’t KNOW what you are doing regarding daguerreotype restoration, please contact us before you ruin a portrait. There are some of us who really do love daguerreotypes because each one is a rare and unique object filled with historical importance. Back to the subjects who were framed by a primitive, gold gilded rectangular paper mat and housed in a worn half leather case with a plain bottom. It was originally hinged at the top. The piece is circa early 1841 and has a thick layer of shellac on the polished surface. I asked my dear friend, Martin Kamer a consummate collector of the finest daguerreotypes about their costumes and he replied, “Your very early dag is a charmer and 1840/41 fits the clothes wise very well. They were quite fashionable rich kids judging by the printed cloth.” Honestly, I never would have considered that final comment. Now I know! The sisters, no doubt, stood close together and held hands. Who would make an attempt during the experimental age to capture children as they stood? Their father maybe? Light entered the space from the right. I doubt that a dedicated reflector was on the left. The brightest areas were solarized blue. I would have to say IF this likeness was not so damaged . . . I really might be reluctant to offer the piece for sale. I can only imagine how it appeared the day they were taken. The sixth plate has been archivally prepared and should not suffer further harm.

For Purchase Inquiry Contact:
Dennis A. Waters at