A fine pair of miniature portrait paintings, on natural organic material, housed in a 1/6 plate daguerreotype case, which is embossed in a cartouche on the front and back "M.B. Brady Case Maker NY". Cases by Brady are highly desirable and avidly collected.
As to the wonderful portraits, the first is of a bewhiskered gentleman in a black jacket, vest, and stock, and a white pleated shirt. The woman is attired in a black pleated dress with lace edging, and a white lace cap. It is highly probable that the couple is husband and wife.
The condition of the paintings is excellent, with no chips, cracks, or bowing. The leather case has normal wear, but the hinge (binding) and hasp are in fine working order. The sight size of the paintings is 2 5/8" by 2 1/8", and the closed case size is 3 3/4" by 3 1/4".
NOTE: Mathew B. Brady (1822 – 1896) was one of the first American photographers, best known for his scenes of the Civil War.
He studied under inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, who pioneered the daguerreotype technique in America. Brady opened his own studio in New York in 1844, and photographed Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams, among other celebrities. When the Civil War started, his use of a mobile studio and darkroom enabled vivid battlefield photographs. Thousands of war scenes were captured, as well as portraits of generals and politicians on both sides of the conflict. Of the 700 daguerreotypes housed in the Library of Congress photo section, over half were taken by Brady.