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Enigmatic, Pemberton & Co. 1/6th-Plate Daguerreotype, Circa 1851

© Ann Longmore-Etheridge Collection.

Dennis Waters, who retaped this image in 1994, helpfully left me a note on the reverse that says "Pemberton & Co, Conn. Very rare plate mark. C. 1850."


This image, now in my collection, was published on page 126 of Joan Severa's seminal work on nineteenth century fashion, "My Likeness Taken." Of it she wrote: "The woolen dress in this portrait has been finished with self puffing to emphasize the waist taper, the shoulder caps, and the sleeve cuffs. The fitted and darted bodice has the shorter waist point of fifties, and the skirt is taken into the waistline by small knife pleats. It is interesting to speculate on the color of the dress, as it is not black. Cherry red is a possibility, but soft brown is more likely.


"A standing band of whitework, with lapets crossed, is worn at the neck, and fine, close undersleeves extend the somewhat shortened sleeves. The netted mitts cover the fingers to the first finger joint, a new style for the year.


"The hair is done in long curls hanging behind the ears on either side."

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Taken on March 14, 2012