SIXTH-PLATE DAGUERREOTYPE

$65.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: P11437

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This cased image is of a young gentleman seated at a table.  He is finely dressed in a white shirt, dark vest, dark frock coat.  He sports a large bow tie, typical of the period. The image is quite clear. The image is under glass and in a case.  A plain brass or copper mat bears the maker or photographer’s name, “MARSTON”. Slight silver oxidation around edges of mat which does not encroach upon image. There is a split in the case spine about an inch long. Front and back of case bear matching Thistle design.

To make these images, a daguerreotypist would polish a sheet of silver-plated copper to a mirror finish, treat it with fumes that made its surface light sensitive, expose it in a camera for as long as was judged to be necessary, which could be as little as a few seconds for brightly sunlit subjects or much longer with less intense lighting; make the resulting latent image on it visible by fuming it with mercury vapor; remove its sensitivity to light by liquid chemical treatment, rinse and dry it, then seal the easily marred result behind glass in a protective enclosure.

The image is on a mirror-like silver surface, normally kept under glass, and will appear either positive or negative, depending on the angle at which it is viewed, how it is lit and whether a light or dark background is being reflected in the metal. The darkest areas of the image are simply bare silver; lighter areas have a microscopically fine light-scattering texture. The surface is very delicate, and even the lightest wiping can permanently scuff it. Some tarnish around the edges is normal.

The name "daguerreotype" correctly refers only to one very specific image type and medium, the product of a process that was in wide use only from the early 1840s to the late 1850s.  [jet]

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