A pair of 19th century daguerreotypes each depicting a young lady, in matching original gilt wood frames.
The daguerreotype was the first commercially successful photographic process (1839-1860) in the history of photography. Named after the inventor, Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, each daguerreotype is a unique image on a silvered copper plate.
In contrast to photographic paper, a daguerreotype is not flexible and is rather heavy. The daguerreotype is accurate, detailed and sharp. It has a mirror-like surface and is very fragile. Since the metal plate is extremely vulnerable, most daguerreotypes are presented in a special housing.
Daguerreotypes were very expensive, so only the wealthy could afford to have their portrait taken. Even though the portrait was the most popular subject, the daguerreotype was used to record many other images such as topographic and documentary subjects, antiquities, still lives, natural phenomena and remarkable events. European daguerreotypes are scarce.
The first daguerreotype has faded wonderfully showing the full image at some angles, and a haunting empty frame from others. The second daguerreotype appears to have suffered prolonged exposure to sunlight at some point in its past, and as such has permanent rainbow tarnish to the centre of the image. The image nonetheless remains clearly visible and does so from all angles.
Both daguerreotypes are housed in matching gilt wood frames. The frames show some wear to the gilt commensurate with age but otherwise remain in an excellent condition.
Dimensions (including frame)
Weight (approx): 300 grams