Daguerreotype photograph of unknown woman with book or photo case ~ ca. 1840-50s
silk taffeta bodice with center front closure, self fabric buttons on bodice; vee waist; high neckline with white collar and what seems like a ribbon bow with round brooch; widening quarter length sleeves with passementerie trim and broad black lace attached on the sleeves, flowing over the widening white undersleeves with small ruffle trim; the hair is parted in the middle, has side waves and rolled-in on the sides, partly covering the ears; ribbon bow wristlets; chain necklace; gold earrings; three rings; seated half figure with hand resting in lap and holding a book or almanac, other arm leaning on table. I love how you can see the outlines of the chest-flattening corset underneath the tight fabric of the bodice and the dreamy expression of the young woman or teenage girl.
Below a photograph of a similar dress from the Old Sacremento Museum Collection and an original 1840s silk taffeta dress in similar style: