1853-1856 Quarter Plate Daguerreotype of a Probable Mardi Gras Page by Edward Jacobs of New Orleans

c 1853-1856 Quarter plate daguerreotype of a possible Mardi Gras page by Edward Jacobs Author’s collection

This quarter plate daguerreotype depicts a young boy in striped pants, a jacket with lace up sleeves, and a white shirt with a stiff, ruffled collar and cuffs.  There is an elaborate hat that rests on the table beside him. Given his costume, this boy likely served on the Mardi Gras court, as an attendant to the queen. The image was taken by Edward Jacobs of New Orleans and contains his studio imprint “E. Jacobs, N.O.” on the mat.  

The image is housed in a Rinhart #260 (Roses and Bluebells) leather case.  This case was introduced in about 1853.  The mat is a modified nonpareil that was primarily used from 1843-1849 but had use in the early to mid 1850’s as well.  The mat contains a sandy texture with an inside bevel.  The image contains a preserver (Nolan s_horseshoes) that was in common use from 1850-1856.  Given these characteristics it is likely that the image was made between 1853-1856.  

The image was previously part of the Eugene R. Groves Collection of 19th Century Photography.

Detail of face and collar
Hat detail
Sleeve detail also showing striped pants
Edward Jacobs studio stamped mat

Edward Jacobs (1813-1892) was born in England and was an active artist and photographer in New Orleans from 1844-1864. He initially established a daguerrian gallery at 1 Camp Street in 1844 and was in partnership with Charles E. Johnson for a period of time. In the fall of 1846 Edward White took over the gallery and it is likely that Jacobs continued to work from the gallery. It is reported that he was one of several New Orleans daguerreotypists who took a portrait of General Zachary Taylor in 1847 while he was visiting the city.

In about 1850 Jacobs established his own gallery at 93 Camp Street and embarked on a period of time that would establish him as one of the premier photographers in New Orleans. It was during this time that this image was likely taken.

Case. Rinhart #260


Cowan’s Auctions. Auction Listing, 2020

Nolan, Sean William. Fixed in Time. 3rd edition, 2017

Palmquist, Peter E. and Thomas R. Kailbourn. Pioneer Photographers from the Mississippi to the Continental Divide: A Biographical Dictionary, 1839-1865.

Rinhart, Floyd and Marion. American Miniature Case Art. 1969