I love things that confuse me or make me question what I'm seeing, and I also images of other images, representing multiple degrees of remove. I believe this glass plate negative most likely documents an earlier photograph, frame and all; I am not a costume expert, but the fine lace and bodice make me think 1840s, while the glass plate negative did not come into common use until several decades later. One can just make out the flutter of her eyelashes, and the precision of detail on the lace makes it seem impossible that it be a painted portrait that was documented. In this case the object-hood that the glass plate gives to the image seems just right, while being in the negative lends it a wonderful sense of mystery and ghostliness. Love.
4 1/4" x 3 1/4" and in good condition. There is a drop of dark red paint on one side and a bit of roughness to the top edge at center, no real matter.