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Daguerreotype - Portrait of Egerton Cleeve

Portrait of Egerton Cleeve

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1845-1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The daguerreotype process was introduced to the public in 1839 by Frenchman Louis Daguerre, and was hugely popular as a medium for portraiture until the middle of the 1850s. To create a daguerreotype, a silver plated sheet was given a light sensitive surface coating of iodine vapour. After a long exposure in the camera, the image was developed over heated mercury and fixed in a common salt solution. The image lies on a mirror-like surface and is best seen from an angle to minimise reflections. The surface of daguerreotypes is delicate and easily damaged, so professionally finished images were presented in a protective case or frame.

Physical description

Hand-tinted daguerreotype in plush-lined, papier-maché case with green lining. Portrait of Egerton Cleeve (1827-1850), oval, 3/4 length, late 1840s. Accompanied by a note in the portrait records stating that the subject died young in Montevideo of yellow fever.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)


1845-1850 (made)



Materials and Techniques



Height: 120 mm, Width: 88 mm

Descriptive line

Portrait of Egerton Cleeve (1827-1850), oval, 3/4 length. Anonymous hand-tinted dageurreotype, in a lined case, with a note in the portrait records about the subject's death. Late 1840s.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Coe, Brian & Haworth-Booth, Mark. A Guide to Early Photographic Printing Processes. London: The Victoria and Albert Museum in association with Hurtwood Press, 1983.


Papier-mache; Fabric






Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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