title: A Durable Memento

Unidentified young woman

Unidentified young woman

Dated to circa 1853 on the basis of its silver-bordered case, this daguerreotype features a young woman attired in a handsome dinner dress of slightly earlier vintage. As was the fashion when wearing a short-sleeved costume, the subject has completed her ensemble with elegant lace mitts, the open-fingered gloves which dress her forearms. The young woman is pictured holding a daguerreotype case identical to one that Augustus Washington carried with him to Liberia and later used to house his portraits of Liberian merchant Urias McGill and an unidentified female member of the McGill family.

Augustus Washington
Ninth-plate daguerreotype, circa 1853
Image courtesy Philip Nathanson


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