Tuesday, February 16, 2010

FINE SIXTH PLATE DAGUERREOTYPE OF NEW YORK AMERICAN GUARD MUSICIAN


Auction: 2006, Fall Americana, Nov. 16 & 17

Price Realized: $1,495.00

A fine antebellum militiaman with impressed blind stamp of Weston/132 Chatham St./NY on brass mat. A youngster in red tinted jacket holding a curved militia saber poses before a remarkable Hudson River Valley scene associated with other Weston daguerreotypes of the 1850s.

The American Guard of New York City was originally raised in 1850 as a “Nativist” backlash to the “threatening waves” of immigrants arriving in the city. It became the “American Guard” in 1853 and later reorganized as part of the 71st Regiment New York State Militia. According to Todd in State Forces, in 1857 the company employed a “drum corps of boys” wearing “red jackets,” light blue trousers and white belts. Unfortunately, the colorist has obscured the musician’s square belt plate and oval shoulder belt plate with gilding. There is no other form of insignia visible except the very narrow shoulder tabs usually associated with musician’s uniforms of the period. The non-regulation brass hilted saber dating from the 1830s has scrolled work on the blade visible under magnification.

An exception tinted American militia daguerreotype from the antebellum period.

Daguerreotype is near EXC with delicate tinting and original paper seals intact. Clarity is not quite as sharp as typically seen in better dags. There is just a trace of dark tarnish adjacent to the elliptical brass mat, housed in partial composition case.

(EST $800-$1200)

Price Realized: $1,495.00

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