This is an hand colored, ½ plate daguerreotype (6 ¼” by 4 ¾”) of two smiling kids standing on a chair by ANSON, NYC. Very good condition. Signed in 2 places… On the fabric pad and on the brass mat, “ANSON, 589 BROADWAY N.Y.”. The children are not identified and we know nothing about the family. The children look to be about 2-4 years old.
While the children are not identified, but we believe thatv they are a brother and sister, primarily because of differences in the hair styles and differences in the clothing. Note the child on the right who we think to be a boy has a side part. We have seen boys at the time with similar hair cuts, including boys that had been breeched. We have not, however, seen boys wihe hair style of the child in the left. Plaid was a popular pattern for boys; dresses, but it was not excuively a boys' fabric. There are notable similarities, such as the ribbons on the shoulders--rather like leading strings. Also note that the children are wearing identical pantalettes, white stockings, and shoes.
A German reader writes, "Yes, the child on the right is a boy, I am sure. If both were girls the child on the right should be very jealous because the child on the left is dressed up so nicely and girlish. I think this portrait is a good example how boys looked in dresses and compared to girls."
The boy's dress is handcolored red and the girls dress is handcolored blue and has large red ribbons. They affectionately pose for the camera, arms tenderly wrapped around each other, hugging very closely. Look at the big grin on the little girl’s face. This is a great close up shot of 2 little angels. No fear or stiffness in these kids…they look totally relaxed, almost as if they are having fun and are enjoying themselves while being photographed. Unfortunately there is a ding or dimple on the plate between their heads. There is a thin ring of tarnish near the edges of the brass frame. The brown leather case has separated at the spine and the top half has an age crack or wrinkle near the bottom and one of the eyelets is missing. This old photo is a gorgeous, expertly hand tinted, crisp and very clear portrait of childhood. We are not sure about the date. We believe it is most likely from the 1840s. We do not know, however, how to differentiate 1840s from 50s dags, especially when the clothing like the dresses here could have easily been worn in both the 40s and 50s. Very few of the dags we have found are dated.
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