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Conservation work has now protected the images from further damage. They are now behind new glass with new edging seals of filmoplast and hand-made paper. Before this, Roger Watson had to carefully remove from the silver surface, minute grains of surface dirt and foreign bodies such as broken glass.
Of the ten images, two are of Rome (Lerebours images). They are in better condition than the Pattinson daguerreotypes.
Port Ripetta à Rome has some marking of the plate surface. There is a line where the glass had once been broken and the atmosphere was left to tarnish (oxidise) the surface. There are also some small spots visible that can be caused by dirt, dust or possibly the degradation of the old glass. The mask is of thin paper and is curved at the corners of the window possibly to cover loss of image due to lens distortion. It is labelled "Port Ripetta à Rome" above and, "Daguerreotype Lerebours à Paris" below. The back shows the two labels for Claudet and Houghton, Glass Importers stuck to the original blue paper backing. The labels were found under a green paper backing while the object was being conserved. The labels are now protected by a matt and a covering of Archival Melinex that forms a viewing window. The mounting board has a hoop attached by a linen tape. The tape has been moved from its original position, possibly as a reult of earlier damage, and been re-glued in a slightly different position, tearing the uppermost label.
Saint Pierre et Chateau St Ange shows similar marking on the plate surface. The mask has a square window and above the image is written, " Pierre et Chateau St. Ange," and, "Vue prise du port Ripetta à Rome." Below the image is written, "Daguerreotype Lerebours à Paris." The back used to be covered in green paper (now known not to be contemporary) with a hanging hoop attached by linen tape at the top. Further investigation under the green paper revealed similar labels to Port Ripetta mounted on the same blue backing.
Of the Pattinson images, four are mounted on smaller boards. There is some evidence that they were cut to this size at a later date. They all have square windows in their masks and have hand written descriptions below the image. They are Clifton Hotel, Niagara-Horse Shoe Fall and two with Niagara-American Fall. All are signed "H. L. Pattinson April 1840." All now have new green hand made paper backings.
One of the images of the American Falls and the image of the Horse-Shoe Falls are badly oxidised to the point that almost no image is discernible.
The image of the Clifton Hotel has some oxidation around the edges. there is a curved mark where the glass has been cracked at some time. It shows some exfoliation of the Silver surface and some dust and dirt marks. There are also some wide regular marks across the image caused by paper strips lying directly on top of the image. The strips had been there for a long period of time while the plate was without glass causing some reaction between the paper and the silver surface.
The other American Falls image is very similar in condition to the Clifton Hotel image but surface scratching is more prominent.
There are four larger daguerreotypes, none are labelled or signed. All have square windowed masks.
The most important of these is the view of the Horse-Shoe Falls published in Excursion Daguerriennes and has a man standing in the foreground. It has signs of exfoliation (large spots) as well as smaller spots caused by dust and dirt or possibly from the action of glass degradation. There is a large scratch in the shape of a bird that may be a processing fault. The top left corner has oxidation due to cracked glass. The back is covered in marbled paper and has a hanging loop held by red tape.
Next is a view of the American Falls. It shows signs of exfoliation and spotting but has little tarnishing. The back is covered in the same marbled paper and has the same hanging loop held with red tape.
Of the two views of the Horse-Shoe Falls, the first is relatively tarnish free and displays no signs of ever having broken glass. It has some exfoliation and spotting. The back is covered in the same manner as the two previous images.
The final view of the Horse-Shoe Falls has a definite oxidation line running from top to bottom through the middle of the image. It also shows some spotting of its surface. The back is covered by the same green paper originally found on the Lerebours images and has a hanging loop held by red tape.
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