Lot 2: Louis Daguerre
RR Auction: Photography Auction
January 17, 2013
Amherst, NH, USA
Description: ALS in French, signed "Daguerre," one page, 5.25 x 7.75, Diorama letterhead, Paris, February 11, 1828. Letter to a Count. In part (translated): "I have the honor to send you the letter enclosing the etchings I told you about. Success depends on your answer, having been given the intentions of Her Royal Highness the Dauphine. Dear count, please give me a favorable reply." Light scattered creases, a few tiny holes to the lower left, and some trivial mirroring to ink, otherwise fine condition. Accompanied by an original unsigned carte-de-visite of Daguerre by Mayer & Pierson of Paris.Struggling with the slow, labor-intensive methods of early photography and determined to improve them, the ambitious artist Louis Daguerre sought out much needed funding for his work from Marie Therese Charlotte, Dauphine of France and daughter of Marie Antoinette. Hoping to impress with a sample of his etched plates, he implored her Count for a favorable reply, declaring that "success depends on your answer." At the same time, he was beginning his relationship with Joseph Niepce, an inventor on a similar quest who had achieved great success with his own method of heliography, resulting in the first permanently fixed image from nature using a camera. The two would officially join forces the following year, achieving the initial advances that culminated in the groundbreaking Daguerreotype a decade later. With its exceptionally early mention of a Daguerre etching, this is a remarkable letter from the man who revolutionized the world of photography.