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Daguerreotype, 1/6 plate
Larry Gottheim, Be-hold, Inc
Courtesy of Larry Gottheim (Auction: Feb 21, 2008, 51, part 1 / lot 31)
A smock with leggings covers his suit. On the table is a pail with glue, a brush, and very prominent large scissors with which to cut the roll of patterned paper that extends down from the table. On his lap is a tray with various tools, including a palette knife. This may be a base on which he can mix the proper consistency. of glue. It would seem that he is an artist craftsman who can custom make perfectly aligned patterns for tricky areas, not just apply the paper broadside on walls.
This is an unusually detailed occupational portrait, a 1/6 plate signed McElroy on the mat. There were various daguerreotypists by that name. The plate has a number of fine scratches, but the charm and vitality of the image is well preserved. There is a silk pad that might be original, but the geometric thermoplastic case is much later.