Carol Vogel previews a daguerreotype that Sotheby’s photography department thinks might be a picture of the Bloomingdale estate in 1848. Perhaps the mystery will be solved before the March 30th sale in New York:
“The cover glass was so corroded he could barely see what it was,” said Denise Bethel, director of the photography department at Sotheby’s. “Then he discovered a note signed L.B. tucked behind the daguerreotype plate.” The note, dated May 1849, refers to “a continuation of Broadway 60 feet wide.”
Although it is yet to be determined who L.B. is, Ms. Bethel said she believed the photograph could have been taken around October 1848 or earlier. “The writer refers to the picture’s having been made in October but we don’t know if it was that year or an earlier one,” she said.
Daguerreotypes depicting New York City are rare, and the handful that have been discovered date only to the 1850’s. But at this point, Ms. Bethel said, Sotheby’s has no idea what the image could fetch.
Rare N.Y. Photo to be Offered by Sotheby’s(Arts Beat/NY Times)