A Family and Their Castle
Stereo daguerreotype of a group standing by the gate of a palatial dwelling, by Trutpert Schneider & Sons, Germany. Housed as found in one of Schneider's Mascher-style viewing cases. With applied hand coloring in flesh, red and blue, gilt paper mat impressed "STEREOSCOP VON T. SCHNEIDER UND SOEHNE."
Trutpert Schneider was one of the great masters of the daguerreotype. He began his career as a local carpenter. Asked by a traveling daguerreotypist to replace a broken box camera, he became an assistant to the daguerreotypist and then went on to become a daguerreotypist in his own right and one of Germany's most important photographers. The photographic firm he founded continued under his sons management until 1921. (See Leif Geiges "T. Schneider & Soehne, Vom Dorfschreiner zum Hofphotographen" (1989) which also illustrates Schneider's viewers on p. 49.)
Schneider was an innate master of the stereo daguerreotype and the majority of his work was in outdoor stereo images, almost invariable of crisp detail and high technical quality. This present daguerreotype is of no exception. The family depicted stands crisply before a gateway, which towers up on the left, behind them we see first a courtyard with fountain and beyond that the rising walls of a massive edifice. Schneider is known for stereo daguerreotypes of important figures (including the then-Kaiser), so it is quite possible that the sitters are here posed in front of their own home, in any case they seem proud enough for it.
The plate in superb condition and excellent stereo effect. Resealed with modern glass, some tarnish at plate edges and a small imperfection of nose of the little girl in right image, the woman next to child moved slightly during the exposure.