Beauty with embroidered ribbons, ca. 1840s


Pretty Young Woman from Charlottesville (Virginia) by W. A. Retzer, ca. 1840s

The velvet pad reads: “W. A. RETZER DAGUERREOTYPIST CHARLOTTESVILLE.” Consulting the excellent resource Craig’s Daguerreian Registry  by John Craig, we found a ‘W. A. Retzer’ from Philadelphia with the latest mention of him in 1845. Well, we now know where he moved his business to. John also has a listing for “Retzger” (with a ‘g’ inserted in the name) in Richmond in partnership with Van Loan (also from Philadelphia) and also in Charlottesville, but we’re assuming it’s referring to ‘W.A. Retzer’ and that the ‘g’ should be dropped.

Note the finely embroidered belt around her tiny waist, and the fine embroidery on her bow. She appears to be wearing a daguerreotype brooch. We cannot see a face, but it appears there’s a reflection in there.

source: Genest on Ebay

2 Comment

  1. Elizabeth Duley says: Reply

    I have a photograph by Retzer of this same woman, it is a daguerrotype of a painting of her. I am looking for more information about her and W. A. Retzer . Please let me know if you have another further information. Thank you, Liz

  2. Miss Anna says: Reply

    Hello Liz! thank you for your comment. Alas I have no further information on this lady. But if I happen to find out more I will let you know. I would be curious to see the Daguerreotype of a painting of her. Is there a link where one can see it? So interesting to find all these pieces of someone’s past!

Leave a Reply