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Portrait of a Jewelry Salesman
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This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Robert H. Vance
American, 1853 - 1854
Hand-colored daguerreotype
2 13/16 x 2 5/16 in.
84.XT.1565.18

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As a result of the vast popularity of daguerreotypes in America, they quickly became relatively inexpensive. For the first time in recorded history, working-class people could afford to have their portraits made. They often chose to be shown with the tools of their trade.

Sometimes these portraits were early forms of advertising, as suggested by this jewelry vendor, who proudly displays his cased wares and trinkets.