This beautiful half plate Daguerreotype portrait is undated, We know, however, it was taken in the 1850s. This is because the Daguerreotypists was Henry Pollock in Baltimore, Maryland. And he omly opened his studio in 1850. We suspect it was taken in the mid-1850s because other formats (Ambrotypes and tin-types began to compete with Dags by the 1850s. Also we don't see outfits like this bdeing worn for the CDV portrait that becamd popular in the early 1860s. The children look to be 3-6 years old.
The portrait of this young fmily has been wondurfully tinted. The children look aboot 2-6 years old. Gorgeous hand tinting for the boy's tunic and the and the little girl's dress, as well as Mom's bow. The mother holds her daughter's head close to her to keep her little girl's head still during the long exposure. The portrait was housed in a full case (split spine) with a plain design. Notice that while the children wear coloful clothes, the father wears black. Mother also wears a black dress, but with color accessories. While this is not a color photograph, the tinting probavly is a good indication of trends at the time. Pollock was one of the more established Daguerreotypists un the city. An advertisement read, "DAGUERREOTYPES--BALTIMORE ST., next door to Calvert-- The most central location, and largest light in Baltimore-- one of the best, full sized Cameras in the world-- the most conveniently arranged and elegantly furnished rooms, with a private dressing apartment for ladies, in charge of one of their own sex-- to say nothing of the superiority of the PICTURES produced-- must soon place this establishment far ahead of all others in public favor and patronage. TS, January 11, 1850.
One interesting aspect in researching this Daguerretotypists was a list of the Dauuerreotype studios in Baltimore. There were almost 100 studios, and this was just one American city. European cityies at the time, even France and England did not have such a huge photographic industry. This probably explains why so mny more Dags were taken in America than in European countries.
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