Antique daguerreotype photo of a seated young man
This has the black case which has the spine still intact. Case measures almost 2.5 inches wide and nearly 3 inches across, the photo itself is 2 x 2.5 which is a 1/9 plate.
This consists of the case (made of wood covered in what seems to be a thin layer of leather), the felt cushion (most of the red felting has worn off), the daguerreotype itself. The brass mat, glass and preserver.
This dates between 1859 to very early 1860's, the ornate mat and preserver didn't begin until the late 1850's, however the wood cases predate any of the Thermoplastic or Union cases which began to replace the wood cases after 1856.
Daguerreotypes were created around 1839 but by the very early 1860's they were replaced by Ambrotype and tintypes which were less expensive. Made of a polished copper plate coated with light-sensitive silver salts. When the photographer placed this plate in a camera and exposed it to light, an image was created directly on the plate, a process known as a direct positive. Creating daguerreotypes was very technical and involved a number of dangerous chemicals including mercury, cyanide and sulfuric acid. There were even reports of some photographers getting “mad-hatter syndrome,” or mercury poisoning.
This is missing the small sicle shaped latch but it does have the loop area that it would hook into, there is normal wear to the design on the black case, the felt on the cushion is mostly worn away, a tiny area on the preserver (toward the bottom) looks very lightly bent.
Overall I think it is fantastic for something approximately 158 years old!
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