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The Open Horizon

Magnificent half plate daguerreotype of two men with canvas-covered peddler's style wagon posed against a broad country horizon. Anonymous American ca. 1850. Housed in period full case with a mssing hook and repaired leather spine.   Price: $17,500.   ( Inventory# ib713 )

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This extremely rich, truly daguerreian image captures a slice of 19th-century life in the way which only the very finest daguerreotypes are capable of. Details of the sitters, their wagon and its covering are presented with a detail that renders them almost magically lifelike and three-dimensional. Not just a brilliant technician but an inspired artist as well, the photographer has chosen to highlight his subjects against an expansive horizon on which, in the distance, a few dwellings are visible. From beneath the wheels of their wagon a grassy plain stretches off into the distance beyond the two men, making this wide expanse part of their portrait.

The covered wagon shown would be relatively unusual for an ordinary home or farm use and is not frequently seen in daguerreotypes. More likely this vehicle served to transport or deliver goods, or perhaps as the equipage of traveling salesmen.

A magnificent, museum-quality daguerreotype.

Condition: Other than normal aging tarnish around the edges and some tarnish sprinkles, the plate appears to be in its original and pristine condition. Archivally resealed with fresh glass.

 

Last updated April 11, 2014

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