Amon Carter print details


Sheldon K. Nichols (active ca. 1850-1854)

Object Details

  • Date

    ca. 1851-54

  • Object Type


  • Medium

    Daguerreotype with applied color

  • Object Formats

    Cased photograph, 1/4 plate

  • Dimensions

    Image: 3 7/16 x 2 9/16 in.
    Case: 4 15/16 x 3 15/16 x 7/8 in.

  • Inscriptions

    In case well, printed:

    LITTLEFIELD, PARSONS & CO., \ MANUFACTURERS OF \ Daguerreotype Cases. \ L., P. & CO., \ Are the sole Proprietors and only \ legal Manufacturers of \ UNION CASES, \ WITH THE \ Embracing Riveted Hinge. \ Patented, \ Oct. 14, 1856 & April 21, 1857

  • Credit Line

    Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

  • Accession Number


  • Copyright

    Public domain

Object Description

Early daguerreotype portraitists often took their cues from paintings, showing sitters with carefully chosen clothing and props meant to communicate something about themselves, whether profession, social standing, or economic wealth. This man, possibly Joseph Plympton, is dressed in his military uniform and photographed as if in the midst of administrative work, signaling that he’s an officer, not a mere foot soldier.

This daguerreotype has been handcolored with gold leaf on a few key details—the sword’s hilt, the uniform’s buttons, and the hat’s emblem—that emphasize the finery of his military dress and echo the color of the brass case. More attention has been paid to them than to the young man who holds the officer’s belongings and stands a few feet behind him, out of the camera’s focal range. Is he a military attendant? A servant? An enslaved person? We are left to wonder what he might say about this image.

—Text taken from the Carter Handbook (2023).

Additional details

Location: Off view
See more by Sheldon K. Nichols


Amon Carter Disclaimer

This information is published from the Carter's collection database. Updates and additions based on research and imaging activities are ongoing. The images, titles, and inscriptions are products of their time and are presented here as documentation, not as a reflection of the Carter’s values. If you have corrections or additional information about this object please email us to help us improve our records.

Every effort has been made to accurately determine the rights status of works and their images. Please email us if you have further information on the rights status of a work contrary or in addition to the information in our records.