value a photograph by its wrapping

C.H. Williamson daguerreotype in case

Photography rapidly became a major commercial business in the mid-1800s. Commercial photographers gave ordinary persons, for the first time, the opportunity to acquire images of their loved ones.

Persons today, sharing photographs on Flickr, Facebook, and elsewhere, probably do not love less than persons in the mid-1800s.  But making photographs today is much cheaper than doing so in the mid-1800s. The wrappings in which photographs are displayed generally reflect those changed circumstances.  That creates a new opportunity for signaling value.

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C. H. Williamson of Brooklyn, NY, produced the above daguerreotype.  The Williamson Gallery was active in Brooklyn from 1851 to 1859.

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