Girls with Fruit, 1840/1849
French quarter plate daguerreotype of two girls, one holding a fruit basket, inscribed 21 Nov. 1849, Talcy. Housed in a period handmade paper mat. Together with the original backing board inscribed with notations in the same hand, indicating it was reused from a daguerreotype taken in 1840. ( Inventory# ed114 )
A very personal image of two girls one of whom holds a basket with grapes, what appears to be pears and perhaps other varieties of fruit. This is almost certainly a (gentleman)-amateur image taken of close family members and is housed in a hand-drawn, slightly irregular paper mat.
The period backing board, on which the location and date of the image is written in pen, contains on the inside a second inscription in the same hand, indicating that the backing board was reused after originally housing an earlier daguerreotype. In translation the interior inscription reads: "November 23 1840 / at eleven o'clock / eleven and one half minutes of exposure / full sunlight / direct print / view of an old white mulberry tree and a well / in the garden of Talcy." The "Jardin de Talcy" mentioned is probably the famous garden connected with the Château de Talcy in France.
As a guess I would suppose that the size of original backing board indicates a whole-plate image (not an uncommon format in the opening of the daguerreian age). This beautiful and historical image has been resealed in the original paper mat with a modern backing board, allowing both sides of the original board to be examined. The plate bears a tarnish line from glass breakage and a few small abrasions, probably original to its production.
Images and text copyright © 2001-2014 by Christopher Wahren Fine Photographs