Thursday, August 16, 2012

1844 Daguerreotype Featuring the Young Daughter of a Major Ness

Here is another non-comic related collectible that has happened to fall in to my lap. I though about just chucking it at first but then after doing some research decided that I may want to hold on to it.

In this daguerreotype you can see the image of a young lady as she looks away, dressed in the typical fashion of the early 1840s. She appears to be wearing an evening gown that hangs off her shoulders with a wide flounce collar which serves to give her shoulders a more slender appearance. Though it was common for women during the Victorian era to part their hair down the middle and wear long barley or “sugar” curls as the young lady does in this image, I have not seen this same exact hairstyle in any of my “internet” searches of daguerreotypes.  I find the hairstyle in the Portrait of the Princess di Sant 'Antimo 1840-1844 by Francesco Hayez to be very similar to that of this young lady and it falls into the same time period when this daguerreotype was taken, however, the Princess’ curls are obviously not quite as long as this young lady’s and that particular portrait is a painting.

The case has seen better days as I only have the half which contains this daguerreotype. The case measures 3.75x4.5 inches so I am assuming the plate size is a 1/6. The golden colored inner metallic mat does not have any ornamentation and the overlaying glass is bordered by a strip of blue velvet. There are two latches along its side and its back is bound with reddish-brown Moroccan leather. Along the border of the back of the case there is a simple decorative impression made into the leather consisting of an inner rectangle with a single asterisks placed at each of its outer four corners; this is then in turn bordered by a pattern of alternating X’s and smaller asterisks.

Despite the condition of the case a small note placed on the outer glass breathes more life into the photo and provides us with a bit of history of the young lady. The note is a little worn but clearly states,
“A Daughter of Major Ness
Kept as a specimen of the Daguerreotype Art
Taken in 1844”

This is a very rare find of an early 1840’s daguerreotype due to: its age of a 168 years; the hairstyle, though fitting of the descriptions of that time, is still unusual; the young lady is wearing an evening gown which bares her shoulders instead of her “Sunday best” day dress which is more commonly seen worn by women in photos of the 1840s; and the hand written note in cursive on the front of the glass which provides a historic reference of the subject.

Part of the alluring appeal in collecting daguerreotypes is that photos may be similar but no two are exactly alike. In the case of this daguerreotype, however, I have not found another with a portrait of woman during that time period which matches this young lady in both a similar style of hair and dress. Though, I have managed to find one daguerreotype featuring a person with a hairstyle which I believe is the closest match as of yet. Then again, the person in that photo is a man who's dress is way off and the photo is dated to have been taken in the 1850s.

If you are interested in this 1844 Daguerreotype of Major Ness' young daughter, I plan to put it up for auction within this month.

No comments:

Post a Comment



I've been a huge comic nerd for a long time. It was my dad who first introduced me to comics when I was very young. He gave me his small collection of comics at the time and ever since then I’ve continued to add to it. Over the years I have collected hundreds of comics, toy figures, and other memorabilia. And though I would really love to hang on to them, due to unfortunate circumstances I have to let them go. *sigh* So, the purpose of this blog will be mainly to showcase what I have up for sale on eBay. Most of the items will be comic related memorabilia but I also have a few other “types” of collectables that I hope to be getting rid of as well. And every once in a while in between the post of what I have for sell I may just post some of the crazy ideas that pop-up in my head which of course you can simply choose to ignore. Thanks for stopping by.