Sixth Plate



D14-69    Terms of Sale

ALTERED EYES! After I retrieved a special piece of sixth plate glass and completed the restoration of this astounding very early portrait I examined the woman closely! The daguerreotypist had made a valiant attempt to replicate her pupils with tiny eye scratches when he realized that his client had blinked many times while her countenance was captured on his mirror. The most striking components were the daguerreian's abilities to polish the plate so well, using buff strokes in both directions and the astounding range in contrast. The heavy plate did not have a maker's hallmark. As I would expect from a piece circa 1841, the four sides were perfectly flat and the corners were cut square. The shellac or varnish was applied unevenly and at a severe viewing angle I could see tiny undulations in places where the silver had been clad to the copper. I revel in great excitement to have the opportunity to step back into the woman's life and analyze such a brilliant achievement. The illumination must have been direct and very intense. Although I think I have ascertained that a head clamp was utilized, the exposure was probably a minute or more and the subject simply couldn't remain calm and unmoving for that length of time. For most of you looking at this magical achievement I realize that you really don’t know just how difficult it was to have made the older woman’s portrait. This likeness, with all the inherent “day she was taken” flaws was simply excellent! A complete leather case contains the subject who was framed with a typical rectangular paper mat covered with gold foil.

For Purchase Inquiry Contact:
Erin Waters at