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Monday, November 26, 2012

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe
Quarter-plate daguerreotype taken by William Abbott Pratt in Richmond, VA, September 1849
source: Sotheby's
no copyright infringement notice

William Pratt opened the Virginia Sky Light Daguerrean Gallery in Richmond in 1846, seven years after the daguerreotype was introduced into the United States. As Pratt related the history of this portrait to the St. Louis writer Thomas Dimmock, Poe had never fulfilled a promise he had once made to pose for Pratt until writer and photographer encountered one another on the street in front of the latter's shop in mid-September 1849. Poe, arguing that he was not suitably dressed, was coaxed upstairs and photographed.

Pratt made two daguerreotypes, traditionally known as the Thompson and the Traylor.

The two daguerreotypes Pratt made of Poe in this sitting are the last to have been made of the writer before his death in Baltimore in October 1849.

(A Life in Books)





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