Unidentified Danbury Family (United States, 1855)


Figure 1.--The Daguerreotype here is a wonderful portrait of the children in a family. We do not know the name of this American family, but we know that they were from Danbury, Connecticut on November 16, 1855.

The Daguerreotype here is a wonderful portrait of the children in a family. We do not know the name of this American family, but we know that they were from Danbury, Connecticut on November 16, 1855. The children look to be from about 1-6 years old. We have not been able to find many dags which have dates or location. Here the portratist has written "Ritton, Danbury, Ct. Nov. 16th, 1855." We know from John Craig's Craig's Daguerreian Registry that E.D. Ritton was a Daguerreian working in Danbury during 1850-1860. The posing is wonderful and understated. The daguerreotypist knew how to put the emphasis on the children and to capture them as a threesome. The body language and interaction is as good as it gets. Much of the char, of this image is how the children are holding on to each other. On the actual dag there is a masterful application of color. Notice the boy's hair cut over his ears. He has a small white collar wirn with a modest-sized bow. He looks to be wearing a jacket without lapels, but it could be a sweater. Notice that the jacket does not match the pants. Also notice the bold pattern of his long pants. Even quite young boys like this commonly wore long pants in the 1850s. He is wearing stripped stockings, but we are not sure abougt the length. The child on his right is surely his sister. Both the other two children wear dresses and pantalettes. The dresses are different. The older girl has a print dress while the younger child a very plain dress. Notice thatthe two children in dresses wear knee socks and not long stockings. We are not sure, however, about the gender of the middle child. We are not sure, but the younger child seems to have ringlets. Note that the older girl does not.







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Created: 10:54 PM 1/3/2007
Last updated: 5:07 AM 1/4/2007