Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Fascinating anonymous photograph currently being auctioned by Sotheby's in their March 30th Photography auction.

One of the earliest known images of Manhattan, this daguerreotype shows a country home on what is now the Upper West Side.

Here's a small excerpt from Sotheby's description:

This half-plate daguerreotype of a country estate is believed to have been made in Manhattan in the 1840s and, as such, would be among the very earliest photographs of New York City extant. The daguerreotype shows in the foreground what is almost certainly the old Bloomingdale Road, referred to as 'a continuation of Broadway' in the city directories of the day. In the deep well of the road, to the left, is a horse-drawn carriage with passengers that has come to a halt for the photographer. In the middle ground is the lawn of an estate, planted with young evergreens surrounded by a fence. Beyond the rise of the lawn, in the background, is the top story of an unidentified house, with a rooftop balustrade and double chimneys on either end.

The date and location of the daguerreotype have been taken from a manuscript note, signed 'L. B.,' which was folded and placed behind the daguerreotype plate in its original leather case.

Click Here to read the rest...


Denis said...
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Denis said...

I enlarged picture and it appears there are three men standing on the right side next to the house. Also, fence in front of the house appears to have a cross on the top of it.

Joey said...

Wow, it's amazing that you can see that. I "think" I see a men next to the house, but I have a hard time making it out. Examining a photo from over 150 years ago makes it seem so present. I love it!

sroden said...

unbelievable image...!