A 19th century daguerreotype of a seated lady, housed in its original gilt and wood frame.
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.
This daguerreotype remains in an excellent condition, with no fading or damage to the plate. The frame shows some wear to the gilt commensurate with age, but otherwise also remains in an excellent condition.
Dimensions (including frame)
Weight: 515 grams