Soon, the daguerreotype
gained popularity across Europe and the US and by 1850.
The ghazal form in which "Amulet" is written traditionally calls for each couplet to be autonomous, yet linked by refrain, which can be seen as a verbal instantiation of the daguerreotype
process, as each requires, and invites, the discovery of meaning via a repetitious development of image that accrues over time and across space.
As well as recording their discovery, and describing the laborious restoration of the fragile images, the Jacobsons have provided a catalogue raisonne of all 325 of Ruskin's known daguerreotypes
were displayed to wide acclaim and he received an honourable mention in the jury's official report.
For example, a cyanotype made by botanist Anna Atkins while she was studying flora in Ceylon in 1850 was exhibited next to a salt print of the Arch of Titus made the same year by Giacomo Caneva, while an encased daguerreotype
portrait of three men from 1850 by an unknown artist stood near a large-format photogravure of Alfred Stieglitz's The Steerage, taken in 1907 but printed in 1912, and a light drawing made by Barbara Morgan in 1940 hung next to a brightly-colored abstract dye-transfer drawing made by Clarence John Laughlin in 1944.
So there was excitement at Stockport auctioneers Maxwells when a group of daguerreotype
stereoscopic slides turned up, some signed with the initials "DS".
As Alan Trachtenberg explains, early daguerreotypes
were viewed as a "kind of magic realism" (20), often arousing "a strange response, a shudder rather than a smile of pleasure" (23-24).
, ambrotypes were relatively cheap and framed examples were soon being sold for sixpence, making them the first truly popular photographs, available to most levels of society.
In its first incarnation, in the mid-19th century, the daguerreotype
was a one-off photograph made on a metallic plate.
Digitised resources include daguerreotypes
, historic reports, manuscripts, letters and even diaries of polar expeditions, which are in danger of being lost forever.
Through early daguerreotypes
, glass plates and magic lantern slides, we have a striking compilation of familiar famous faces, as well as a few unsung heroes, such as Tom Crean, Matthew Henson and Frank Wild.
The collection leads visitors through daguerreotypes
and rare paper prints from photography's experimental beginnings in France and England in the 1830s through the fine art and social documentary traditions of the 20th century and into the present day with work by some of the most important artists of our time.