PD37: 1846c Young British Young Man Daguerreotype Attributed to Thomas Davidson of Edinburgh In Unusual Gilt Edged Fliptop Case
9th Plate daguerreotype possibly the work of the Scottish Operator Thomas Davidson (1798 to 1878). I have been told that the gilt edging on the case is reminiscent of those used north of the border. Further credence to this attribution can be found etched on the back of the daguerreotype plate which reads “Exchange” “46”. Davidson operated out (mainly taking daguerreotype portraits) of number 12 Royal Exchange in Edinburgh from 1839 to around 1853. He worked initially in optics but quickly got involved in taking daguerreotypes and calotypes in 1840. His Scottish clients included James Howie, James Good Tunny and his 200 students at the University of St Andrews and Sir David Brewster’s son Captain Henry Brewster. In England, Henry Collen, Antoine Claudet and Calvert Richard Jones all recommended and used Davidson’s optical lenses as did Hill and Adamson (Information gathered from John Hannavy’s Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography). Given that the pictured young man is the right age for university study, it is possible that this portrait features one of James Good Tunny’s St Andrews students. The case is in excellent condition but the daguerreotype plate does have some light wisps. A nice unusual image potentially from a rare Scottish studio.