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Portrait of a young girl
Daguerreotype, 1/6 plate
Courtesy of Capitol Gallery (Fall 2007 Auction, #11)
Artistry during the daguerreian era can seem somewhat limited at times so a photographer's success at innovation in creating an illusion for us can be surprising. This stunning sixth-plate daguerreotype is a perfect example of such creativity. We see an attractive young girl staring into out into the world, perhaps daydreaming about the story she is reading. She points to a favorite passage in her book while the proceeding page has an illustration that is slightly visible. The photographer has posed her leaning on what appears to be a porch rail or open window with a cascading vine visible to the right. The thought provoking pose gives us pause to speculate on what this young woman accomplished in her life. Did she become an author, a teacher, or globe traveler in search of all the places she read about in her youth? Obviously she is from a family of means as she is dressed in a gorgeous matching outfit with very intricate lace gloves. The plate itself is equal in quality with hand tinting to her face and lips. There is a hint of perimeter tarnish and at an angle, in the right lighting, a couple of buffing marks can be seen. There is a very small mat mark on the right perimeter that is almost impossible to see. The image is housed in a full leather case with a floral theme on the front. The velvet mat on the inside follows in suit with a floral design too.