This quarter plate daguerreotype portrait of three well-dressed brothers was taken in May 1852. Unfortunately we do not know where in the States it was taken. We know nothing about the boys' family. But the fact each boy has a dag suggests to us that the family lived in comfortable circumstances. Dags were much more expensive than the CDVs and cabinent cards swgich appeared in the 1860s. The date in the portrait is very helpful. Most dags are not dated. The boys wear identical suits. We are not sure about the coor, but would guess blue ir black. Note the collar buttoning jackets with a row of front buttons, perhaps brrass. They all have white shirt collars which show, but the collars are all different. Notice that there are no bows or stocks. This is a style we see commonly in these old portraits, although we are not yet positive how to date it. The portrait here tells us that it was worn in the 1850s, we are not yet sure aboyt the 1840s. And we do not yet know about the 1860s. Note the long pants. Most boys in the 1850s wore long pants, even younger boys. The boys are identified inside the case as "Martin William Wallis, Martin Samuel Wallis, Martin Howard Wallis". Interestingly, each boy holds a daguerreotype case in his hands. We wonder if that was for an individual portrait. The boys are poses with their arms interlocked and the two younger brothers on the outside leaning in slightly toward their older brother in the middle. We are guessing that they both really look up to him. The portrait is housed in a full case with a floral design.
A HBC reader writes, "I've looked all over Ancestry.com and have found nothing yet for a William, Samuel, and Howard Wallis living together in the United States during the 1840s, 1850s, or 1860s. I thought I had a hit with a family in Pennsylvania in the 1860 census but I can't put a William with the same parents in a census."
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