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Elliott & Fry daguerreotype found - help requested

A year or so ago, I found a tinted daguerreotype of an unidentified young lady by Elliott & Fry (E&F). The case and lining paper behind the daguerreotype carry the E&F name and address (55 Baker St., London). The shape of the case and mount window seem quite unusual.

I am puzzled by this item for two reasons.

1. E&F were established in 1863. By this time daguerreotypes were not commonly made as far as I understand.

2, Although E&F are very well-known, I can find no other daguerreotypes, or indeed any other type of cased image, by the firm. 

I have some questions:

1. Has anyone seen any other daguerreotypes by E&F? 

2. Does anyone know if E&F, or other studios established after 1860, may have sub-contracted daguerreotype orders out to other studios or hired freelance daguerreotypists on an ad hoc basis? 

3. Does anyone know of any interesting literature on post-1860 daguerreotype production in London or elsewhere?

4. Does anyone recognise the sitter? 

I attach images of the case cover, lining paper and daguerreotype plate.

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Comment by Steve Edwards on January 30, 2023 at 10:44

It is obviously a dag. I'm completing a book on British dags and have looked at 1000s. My guess is that if they had a stamped case made they were still offering portraits in the process. It is late, but that doesn't exclude their option to supply what clients required. As a very late English dag, it becomes even more interesting.

Comment by Martin John Last on January 30, 2023 at 10:35

Thank you Stephen, Roger and Steve.

I hadn't considered the possibility that E&F may have just reframed and tinted a daguerreotype made by another firm. Somehow it seems unlikely to me given how the high quality of the daguerreotype and the case seem to match. Also the oxidisation seems consistent with the mount. 

Steve, strange that you should mention Claudet. I did wonder whether he may have made the plate on E&F's behalf. The image does remind me of some of his work.

The daguerreotype has been conserved professionally, having previously slipped within the case. The bare plate has therefore been examined carefully and photographed. Even at extremely high resolution, I cannot see any evidence of a hallmark. It is certainly a daguerreotype.

Sandra Petrillo, who did the conservation, gave me the following information as regards the dimensions:

Housing: 95x105x14 mm

Mat: 93x85 mm

Plate: Sixth-plate

I attach images of the pre-conservation daguerreotype (complete with slipped plate and dusty glass), the bare plate in positive and negative and an image of the back of the plate in Sandra's hand (to give a visual impression of the size).

Comment by Steve Edwards on January 30, 2023 at 9:56

Are you sure it is a daguerreotype and not an Ambrotype? Eliot and Fry were at that address 1865-1885. In the UK there is virtually no work with the daguerreotype process at late as that. Claudet continued to make stereo-dags, but contemporaries often noted this was the only place the process survived. That isn't quite true: itinerents used the process.

Comment by Roger Watson on January 30, 2023 at 9:38

What are the dimensions?

Comment by Stephen Hepworth on January 30, 2023 at 9:08
It’s quite possible that the daguerreotype was taken to Elliot and Fry to be reframed and maybe tinted as well.
It does not appear to be have the proportions of a standard daguerreotype plate but may have been over matted. I can’t tell from your pictures.
Oxidation around the edges of the brass mat suggest that it has been in its current Marc for a long time but if the plate is, very carefully, removed entirely, there may be similar evidence of a previous mat.
The plate may also have a hall mark that can give it an approximate date.

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