For any of you wanting a daguerreotype made by an African American, this is a strong choice for many reasons. 2 The woman is identified. The note, at first glance, is indecipherable, but Im sure someone out there will figure it out. Her last name is surely WEST.
It is not an easy task to procure a daguerreotype of an identified person by Augustus Washington. There is much research to do. The best I could come up with is that the first attempt is scratched out, and it appears as Elnorbay West, so I tried Eleanor Bay West, after trying Elbornay West and Eltornay West. 3 The front and the back of the case are both very handsome. The back of the case, especially, with the name and address of the studio.4 The velvet inside is very attractive. Text on back: WASHINGTON GALLERY 136 MAIN ST HARTFORD. There is a green spot on her shoulder. Everything else you see (what appear to be small scratches near the bottom, white spots, etc) is on the glass. Very good condition, except for the green spot.
Her hand moved, so the daguerreotype case she is holding is a blur. Her face stayed still and is very sharp. Wonderful job of hand coloring her face. Augustus Washington (1820/1821 - 1875) was an African-American photographer and daguerreotypist, who later in his career emigrated to Liberia.He is one of the few African-American daguerreotypists whose career has been documented. He was born in Trenton, New Jersey, as the son of a former slave and a woman of South Asian descent. He studied at Oneida Institute in Whitesboro, New York and the Kimball Union Academy before entering Dartmouth College in 1843. He learned making daguerreotypes during his first year to finance his college education, but had to leave Dartmouth College in 1844 due to increasing debts. He moved to Hartford, Connecticut, teaching black students at a local school and opening a daguerrean studio in 1846. Washington made the decision to emigrate to Liberia in 1852. He wanted to move to Liberia because he believed African Americans should leave the United States and start their own colony in Africa where they would not be discriminated against and would enjoy equal rights. The American Colonization Society started the process of moving African Americans to Liberia and help fund the colony. Washington opened a daguerrean studio in the capital Monrovia and also traveled to the neighboring countries Sierra Leone, Gambia and Senegal. He later gave up his photographic work and became a sugarcane grower and politician, serving in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. He died in Monrovia in 1875. The item "RARE IDENTIFIED WOMAN DAG DESIRABLE CASE BLACK PHOTOGRAPHER AUGUSTUS WASHINGTON" is in sale since Friday, February 26, 2016. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Cultures & Ethnicities\Black Americana\Photos". The seller is "genest" and is located in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. This item can be shipped worldwide.