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Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre [Attributed to]
Westlicht Photographica Auctions
November 2013, Photo Auction 9, Lot: 1
This attribution is uncertain. (Alan Griffiths, 7 March 2017)
Auction lot details
Annotated “Ce portrait est celui de Madame Maugé, née Léocardie Cotte, agée 5 ans à cette époque en 1844 fait à Neuilly au chateau par Daguerre lui même” in an unidentified hand in ink on the frame backboard, above numerical notations in ink, most likely referring to the exposure times calculated by Daguerre himself.
“Fait par Daguerre lui même” (taken by Daguerre himself) is written on the back of the original of this 1/6 plate in old handwriting. The portrait, an exterior shot, shows the five year old Dorothée Léocardie Cotte (1839–1914), photographed in 1844 at Castle Neuilly. The castle, in close proximity to Paris, was in possession of the family d’Orleans, from which the last French king Louis- Philippe I, who reigned from 1830 until 1848, originated. The girl's father, Laurent Alexandre Cotte (1806–1865) had verifiably been working as ball-intendent and “Officier de bouche” under Louis-Philippe (Union, décès: Acte de décès - Cotte Laurent Alexandre - Archives départementales de Paris – Microfilm). Louis Daguerre himself had relations to Castle Neuilly, as his father-in-law had been working there as an 'intendent'. All of this leaves the impression that this daguerreotype is indeed an original and that the information on the back of it is authentic. Of further interest is a numbering of a different cast on the back that might be attributed to Daguerre personally. The columns of numbers might relate to exposition times. This daguerreotype, from a French private collection, offers the prospective proprietor a unique possibility to own an original by the inventor of the first marketable photographic technique. (Much of the information has been gleaned in collaboration with Monsieur Jacques Roquencourt)