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  The research archive of Gary W. Ewer regarding the history of the daguerreotype

On this day (January 8) in the year 1853, the following article appeared in "Gleason's Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion" (Boston; Vol.4, No.2; page 21): ------------------------------------------------------------------ THE ANTHONY PRIZES. We present below a drawing of the lately awarded Anthony prizes, in New York city, for the best daguerreotypes. The first prize for the best 4-4 daguerreotype taken with a 4-4 instrument is a massive silver pitcher, twenty inches in height and of sextagon shape, with grape vine in full leaf, and rich clusters of grape entwine its neck, illustrative of the rich receptacle of their delicious juice. On the back of the pitcher are two tablets representing a landscape, with a cottage by a stream of water, a bridge by a stream of water, a bridge and woods in the distance. On one side is the sun rising over a beautiful landscape, with a daguerreian apparatus, seemingly ready to catch the most interesting feature of the picture, as it throws its golden rays over the scene. On the other side is represented a chemical laboratory-- showing that to chemistry the art is chiefly indebted; and on the two front tablets are portraits of those two illustrious artists--Daguerre and Niepce. On the handle we have again the vine, on which is a lizard in the act of creeping to the mouth of the pitcher, the whole finished with a most exquisitely-chased base. The second prize awarded for the best 1-2 size daguerreotype taken by a 1-2 size instrument consists of a pair of goblets--faithfully represented in the engraving--equally beautiful in workmanship, and tasteful in design. These prizes, when judiciously offered and justly awarded, doubtless exert a very beneficial influence upon art, or whatever field of industry they apply to. The art of daguerreotype picturing, whether of likenesses, of landscapes, or of architecture, is manifestly of vast importance, and has been brought to a very great stage of perfection within a very brief period of time. It is in consideration of the importance of the art, that we are gratified to chronicle Mr. Anthony's liberality in offering these prizes for the best results by experiment in the art. (The article is accompanied by a wood-engraving illustration of the pitcher and the goblets. I will make a graphic file of the illustration available at a later date. I will also mention that the Prize Pitcher was awarded to Jeremiah Gurney of New York. --G.W.E.) ----------------------------------------------------------------- 01-08-96

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