Monday, January 3, 2011

Mystery Monday: In a daguerrotype: who is she?

It is funny what you come across when you are running around picking up odds and ends in preparation for Christmas. In preparing our home for company we had to go to a drapery shop to pick up a finial for the dining room drapes. In the midst of their mad play, our dogs had become entangled in the drapes and down came the rod, smashing one of the glass finials, so off to the shop we went. Walking from the parking lot to the drapers we noticed a antiques and curiosity shop nearby, so we went inside to have a look.

In a larger counter in the middle of the shop was displayed a selection of photographs and cartes de visite. While they were interesting, all were only copies of the originals. While I was perusing them, for some unknown reason, the word 'daguerrotype' popped into my head (not a usual occurrence) and I asked the shop keeper if she had any. A daguerrotype is a 'photograph' produced through the 19th century process developed by Louis Daguerre, in which an iodine-sensitized silvered plate and mercury vapour are employed in order to produce an image.

The shop keeper said she had only one, which had been in the shop since it opened, and which just happened to be in a cabinet directly behind me. As far as I know, the woman in this image is not a member of my family, but I could not leave 'her' in the shop because I felt there was some reason I was supposed to have her image. Someone must know her story. The image was sold to the shop after a family cleared out the farm home of a deceased elderly relative in Ontario Canada.

Who is this woman in the daguerrotype?


  1. I can't help with the ID, Jennifer but what a lovely pic and the case is beautiful. I wouldn't have left her in the shop either :-) Jo

  2. what a find. To have it completely intact like that is so rare. I don't know who she is either. Maybe you could post it on Dead Fred.

    In any case, you have a treasure. Well done.

  3. It's in lovely shape considering the age. I love her dress. Thanks for sharing (and for rescuing her!) :)

  4. I agree her dress is fantastic. I am glad you brought her home with you.

  5. Lovely.

    I'm glad she has a home with you.

  6. Beautiful! I had a daguerrotype of one of my ancestors. Unfortunately it got lost in one of our moves...I was so upset. I never found it and this one is not it. But I'm glad you 'rescued' it and hopefully you'll find the owner.


Comments on this blog are always deeply appreciated; however, in the spirit of true collegiality, I ask that you do not write something you would not say to me in person.

This blog is CAPTCHA free, but comments moderation operates for posts older than two days.

Any comments that are mean-spirited, include URLs which are not connected to the post topic, contain misinformation, or in any way resemble advertising, will be removed.

Cheers, Jennifer

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...