It's not too often I come across a half plate daguerreotype--4 1/4" x 5 1/2"--this one much tarnished, not surprisingly as it was clearly never cased. I like it for the color--including deep browns and blues too, best seen in details--and surface of gestural smudges and scratches, which together have the effect of making this young woman, already rather determined looking, feel as if willing herself into existence/stubbornly resisting disappearing altogether. Daguerreotypes are of course already rather magical feeling in their there/not there-ness, but this moody portrait feels especially as if existing in the liminal space between matter and ether.
[Daguerreotypes, the first commercial form of photography, appearing in the U.S c. 1839, were produced by sensitizing a polished silvered copper plate with iodine vapor, and then exposing the plate to light. The image was developed over hot mercury, fixed, and rinsed. This was a direct positive process, meaning that no negatives were produced, and so each daguerreotype is unique.]
Overall, as mounted: 7" x 5 5/8". Dag: 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" oval. As evident there is much wear and staining to the card, and i've added a bit of archival tape to the reverse to secure one edge. It appears it would not be at all difficult to remove it from the mount, but there may be some residue around the perimeter of the plate.