These daguerreotypes date from the 1840s or 1850s. The closed cover of each measures about 2 by 3 inches.
For a moment, lets forget craftsmanship and design, form and function.
As I travel the world of antiques, there is one thing for which I look history.
Its one of the key components that make an object interesting often, its the only component of interest in something that otherwise would be sadly lacking.
The people involved in an objects creation, the folks who used it, the events that have taken place around it all leave their marks.
Those are part of history.
And, for the most part, the faces that were behind that history long ago were consigned to dust, their names forgotten.
But in one form of collectible, the faces remain, even if the names are lost.
Im referring to the first photographs, Louis Daguerres daguerreotypes, created in the 1830s.
Those 2-inch bits of silver were coated with light-sensitive mercury vapor then exposed, offering ordinary folks a shot at earthly immortality.
That was a first. A portrait drawn or painted by an artist was expensive, available only to the affluent. In comparison, daguerreotypes were inexpensive and provided near-instant results.
PHOTOS BY SCOTT SIMMONS / FLORIDA WEEKLY
So, 180 years later, the anonymous faces stare back, peering from behind the protective glass that shields the precious images.
I was reminded of those faces as I dug through my desk, filled with pencils, stamps, envelopes and thumbtacks, and stumbled across the embossed covers of daguerreotypes I bought some years ago for a few dollars at the West Palm Beach Antiques Festival.
The people tell a story of wearing their Sunday best for a portrait.
A double set of images shows two women wearing matching dresses and white lace collars at their necks. Both wear dark lace mitts on their crossed hands.
In another, a boy looks expectantly into the camera while seated on a straight chair, his arm resting on a table.
And in yet another, a sour-faced woman, her hair parted at the middle, peers at the camera. The early thermoplastic Union Case in which her photograph is mounted, was made between 1855 and 1865, according to The Daguerreian Societys website. That case measuring just over 3 inches by 3 inches is the largest of our trio. Its also the newest and may well be an Ambrotype exposed on glass or a tintype a photograph exposed on a sheet of tin.
This image is an Ambrotype, made between 1855 and 1865. It measures 3 inches by 3 inches.
Was she having a bad day, one wonders, or was she simply dealing with the cumbersome photography process of the day? The subjects of those early photographs often had a brace holding their heads so they didnt move during the long exposure time the image required sometimes as much as a minute.
Regardless, you can look into their eyes and see another world one of horses and buggies and struggles and one of taking great effort to look ones best for a tiny shot at immortality even if immortality means lying at the bottom of my desk drawer, only to be awakened for this brief interlude. Rest well, whoever you were.
See the original post:
- Messages of Faith: Resurrection is the answer for immortality - Daily Record-News - April 17th, 2021
- Exploring immortality and the value of life - Bangkok Post - Bangkok Post - April 17th, 2021
- Overwatch players are furious at the worst Experimental patch yet - Dexerto - April 17th, 2021
- 'Tina': The Ultimate Thesis of Why She Deserves Rock Hall Immortality - wmgk.com - March 31st, 2021
- Three top contenders in the fray for Indian Derby - The Hindu - March 31st, 2021
- Immortal Jellyfish, Radiated Tortoise, and More: 11 Ancient Animals Older Than Every Human on Earth - Nature World News - March 31st, 2021
- Keanu Reeves' BRZRKR Can Show Why He'd Be The Perfect MCU Wolverine - Screen Rant - March 31st, 2021
- Daily Recco, March 17: The People in the Trees, battling immortality and immorality - DailyO - March 21st, 2021
- Hulk Crushes the Avengers in Jaw-Dropping New Alex Ross Cover Art - Screen Rant - March 21st, 2021
- Unheard-of//Ensemble probes inner space in Messiaen's Quartet and new works - South Florida Classical Review - March 21st, 2021
- Katrick: The color green and its many meanings - The Newark Advocate - March 21st, 2021
- 10 Comic Book Superpowers That Are Highly Overrated | CBR - CBR - March 21st, 2021
- Millennials on Exhibit at the Russian Museum - The Moscow Times - March 21st, 2021
- Star Wars: How the Great Sith War Changed the Galaxy | CBR - CBR - Comic Book Resources - March 21st, 2021
- Wonder Woman: 10 Facts About The Amazons You Need To Know | CBR - CBR - Comic Book Resources - February 22nd, 2021
- How to achieve immortality and have a food named after you - The Takeout - February 21st, 2021
- How rejecting Inter and Lyon set Andre-Pierre Gignac on his way to Tigres immortality - Squawka - February 10th, 2021
- Marvel Confirms Thanos Can't Be Killed, But Not For The Reason You Think - Screen Rant - February 10th, 2021
- Why Bayern Munich's opponents, Tigres, are taking the Club World Cup seriously, even if Europe is not - DW (English) - February 10th, 2021
- 'The Bitter Comes With The Sweet': Without Death, There Is No Life - WBUR - February 10th, 2021
- Disney Pixar's Soul: how the moviemakers took Plato's view of existence and added a modern twist - The Conversation UK - February 10th, 2021
- Life after death: Woman 'engulfed by light and God' in afterlife vision - Daily Express - February 10th, 2021
- Charles Woodson's Words Prove Just How Special The Hall Of Fame Is - Wolverine Maven - February 10th, 2021
- Cicely, Cloris, and two paths to Hollywood immortality - The Boston Globe - February 2nd, 2021
- Regular Exercise and Lifting Weights Might Be the Key to Immortality - The Great Courses Daily News - February 2nd, 2021
- Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki believes users will create the metaverse - VentureBeat - January 29th, 2021
- Does Matthew Die in 'A Discovery of Witches'? The Vampire's Fate Revealed! - Distractify - January 29th, 2021
- Cyberpunk 2077's Development Was Shorter Than Anyone Realized - CBR - Comic Book Resources - January 19th, 2021
- How Star Wars Could Bring Back A Weapon More Powerful Than The Darksaber - Screen Rant - January 19th, 2021
- How to Fix Some of the Bachelors Thorny Logistical Issues - The Ringer - January 19th, 2021
- JUANITA FLOYD: What testimony will you leave behind? - Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal - January 17th, 2021
- The Kansas City Chiefs can secure place among NFLs all-time greatest teams - Arrowhead Addict - January 17th, 2021
- Kumbh Mela 2021 dates: Everything you need to know - The Indian Express - January 17th, 2021
- WandaVision Featurette May Be Hiding Another Major Avenger | CBR - CBR - Comic Book Resources - January 17th, 2021
- What happened to Jack on Macgyver? Here is the characters fate in the latest episode - Republic World - January 17th, 2021
- Essenes in Judaean Society: the sectarians of the Dead Sea Scrolls - OUPblog - January 17th, 2021
- 'I'm Thinking of Ending Things' and 'Ham on Rye': Odds and ends - People's World - January 17th, 2021
- Lord Of The Rings: 10 Things About Arwen and Aragorn's Relationship That Make No Sense - Screen Rant - January 17th, 2021
- CRYPTOSIS Take You Behind The Scenes Of "Prospect Of Immortality" Music Video - bravewords.com - January 9th, 2021
- Holocaust Memorial Center hosts 'Soap Myth' online reading and discussion - The Detroit News - January 9th, 2021
- Ahead of the national championship, Justin Fields high school coach relives his dominance in Georgia - Saturday Down South - January 9th, 2021
- Inverted tulips, juniper trees added to Iran's national heritage list - Tehran Times - January 9th, 2021
- How are former Yankees doing in the Hall of Fame voting? - Empire Sports Media - January 9th, 2021
- how is the calendar and when are the long weekends in the year - Explica - January 9th, 2021
- Unexpected discovery about stem cell immortality study - News - The University of Sydney - November 29th, 2020
- Dessie Hutchinson's journey from Brighton to the brink of hurling immortality with Waterford - Independent.ie - November 29th, 2020
- MLB Hall of Fame: Breaking down the 2021 ballot - Call to the Pen - November 29th, 2020
- Mythical Beasts that Simply Scream Nanjing - The Nanjinger - November 29th, 2020
- Maradonas divine goal and worthy absurdities - Mint - November 29th, 2020
- Exploring the Last Green Valley: Beauty found in December evergreens - Norwich Bulletin - November 29th, 2020
- Amazing Cultivation Simulator blends Taoist philosophy with Dwarf Fortress - PCGamesN - November 29th, 2020
- The myth of the apple - Evangelical Focus - November 29th, 2020
- Diego Maradona did 'everything better and bigger, but fell more dangerously and darker' - WDJT - November 29th, 2020
- Maradona flew and fell. It is why we loved him - The Straits Times - November 29th, 2020
- #ComicBytes: The comic book origin of Nick Fury | NewsBytes - NewsBytes - November 29th, 2020
- Never Seen Before Tolkien Works Will Be Published In 2021 - Unreserved Media - November 29th, 2020
- New Lord Of The Rings Book Announced, Will Reveal Who Can Grow Beards - GameSpot - November 29th, 2020
- Reminiscing grandmother during days of coronavirus - Hurriyet Daily News - November 29th, 2020
- Sean Connery: Bond and superstar - Frontline - November 29th, 2020
- Divock Origi has gone from unstoppable to invisible - Rousing the Kop - November 29th, 2020
- A Year of Free Comics: Immortality isnt all that it seems in LIVE FOREVER - Comics Beat - August 26th, 2020
- Under Ben Bulben: Neymar And A Saga Of Resurrection And Immortality - World Football Index - August 26th, 2020
- Rick and Morty plot hole: Rick's ride on the Whirly Dirly creates huge immortality blunder - Express - August 26th, 2020
- Sleeps With Monsters: Into the Woods With Emily Tesh and Carrie Vaughn - tor.com - August 26th, 2020
- Emily Dickinson is the unlikely hero of our time - Fairfield Citizen - August 26th, 2020
- Doom Patrol Leaves the Fate of the Whole Team Up in the Air | CBR - CBR - Comic Book Resources - August 26th, 2020
- Parenting in a pandemic? Your teen is counting on you more than ever - Your Valley - August 26th, 2020
- ALLEN IVERSON PAYS TRIBUTE TO KOBE Greatness needs company, and we needed each other. - Basketball Network - August 26th, 2020
- Lovecraft Country: Why the Sons of Adams Ritual Failed | CBR - CBR - Comic Book Resources - August 26th, 2020
- Lord of the Rings: 10 Things That Make No Sense About Orcs - Screen Rant - August 26th, 2020
- Hakuho may be on path to becoming great stablemaster if latest recruit pans out - The Japan Times - August 26th, 2020
- The Unbelievable True Story Of How The Memphis Pyramid Became A Bass Pro Shops - Forbes - August 26th, 2020
- American Horror Story: Every Immortal Character In The Show - Screen Rant - August 20th, 2020
- Moussa Dembele and the YouTube obsession that has Celtic icon on verge of Champions League immortality - Daily Record - August 20th, 2020
- Words from the Heart: The Message | Columnists | thesuntimes.com - Heber Springs Sun-Times - August 20th, 2020
- Eagles, the worshipped bird of prey of the ancient civilizations - Egypttoday - August 20th, 2020
- 'Burgh's Best to Wear It, No. 13: From midgets to the NFL, Dan Marino wore lucky number - TribLIVE - August 20th, 2020
- Ashton Kutcher Burned an Original Artwork to Promote a New Blockchain Marketplace Where Art Can (Kind of) Live Forever - artnet News - August 20th, 2020
- Aug. 19, 1951: Before Eddie Gaedel went to the plate, the Post-Dispatch got a heads-up - Houston Herald - August 20th, 2020
- 10 Questions We Have After Watching The Old Guard | ScreenRant - Screen Rant - August 20th, 2020