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Boy Holding a Daguerrotype
Daguerreotype, with applied color
Metropolitan Museum of Art
William L. Schaeffer Collection, Promised Gift of Jennifer and Philip Maritz, in celebration of the Museum's 150th Anniversary, Accession Number: L.2019.57.20
The boy in this picture clutches a cased image to his chest, as if to illustrate his affection for the subject depicted within. Daguerreotypes were a novel form of handheld picture, portable enough to slip into a pocket or palm. Portraits exchanged between friends and family could be kept close—a practice often mimed by sitters, who would pose for one daguerreotype while holding another.