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John L. Tucker

Southworth and Hawes (American, active 1843–1863)

Artist:
Albert Sands Southworth (American, West Fairlee, Vermont 1811–1894 Charlestown, Massachusetts)
Artist:
Josiah Johnson Hawes (American, Wayland, Massachusetts 1808–1901 Crawford Notch, New Hampshire)
Artist:
John L. Tucker
Date:
ca. 1850
Medium:
Daguerreotype
Dimensions:
33.4 x 41.3 cm (13 1/8 x 16 1/4 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gift of I. N. Phelps Stokes, Edward S. Hawes, Alice Mary Hawes, and Marion Augusta Hawes, 1937
Accession Number:
37.14.57
  • Description

    The Boston partnership of Southworth and Hawes produced the finest portrait daguerreotypes in America for a clientele that included leading political, intellectual, and artistic figures. This first photographic process, invented by Louis Daguerre (1787-1851), spread rapidly around the world after its public presentation in Paris in 1839. Exposed in a camera obscura and developed in mercury vapors, each highly polished silvered copper plate is a unique photograph that, viewed in proper light, exhibits extraordinary detail and three-dimensionality. Only very rarely were daguerreotypes produced on this extraordinary scale--four times the size of the largest standard plate--and then, necessarily, for wealthy and important clients, such as John L. Tucker, host of the prestigious Tremont House Hotel in Boston.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Framed. Inscribed in pencil on frame, verso: "Mammonth size // The camera that made this Hawes // daguerreotype came from N.O. La // about (?) 1857. It was sold to // Mr. Hawes by E. White - Dag stock // dealer of N.Y.C. for $325 instead // of 425 but he purchased $100 // worth of plates on him // plus. // As Boyer // Chgo 12-43 // [illegible]"

  • Provenance

    Edward S. Hawes, Alice Mary Hawes, and Marion Augusta Hawes, or Edward S. Hawes, Alice Mary Hawes, and Marion Augusta Hawes; [Holman's Print Shop, Boston]; I.N. Phelps Stokes, New York

  • Notes

    From Holman's journal, December 4, 1934: "I had such good success with a lot of the smaller dags. that I attempted the gigantic McKay plate [this plate was mistakenly identified as Donald McKay until June 1974] — and failed. It has all been improved except the face and a portion near by. I'll take it to Mr. Powers tomorrow." Holman took the plate to Powers on December 5 and writes in his journal on December 6: "The attempt Mr. Powers made to restore the McKay dag. was futile. It is in a bad way — so bad that I think I'll try again."

  • See also
268358

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