Property from the Collection of Marc and Mona Klarman
ANONYMOUS AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER
DR. GEORGE T. HARVEY DRUGSTORE, NORTH MAIN STREET, DOYLESTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA
sixth-plate daguerreotype, sealed, cased, late 1840s
This daguerreotype is generally clean and delivers impressive, clear detail, most notably in the readily legible signage.
As is visible in the catalogue illustration, a thin border of tarnish follows the edges of the brass mat. Most of the visual 'noise' one sees in the illustration appears to be dust and fibers caught on the underside of the cover glass, and not accretions on the plate.
The old - possibly original - seal remains intact. There is a paper fragment with 'Doylestown, Pa' in an unidentified modern hand in ink in the case behind the plate. The case is rubbed overall, with occasional losses to the leather at the corners. The spine, which appears to have previously been repaired, is splitting slightly.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
The lettering on the building in this daguerreotype advertises the ‘Drugs, Medicines & Chemicals’ and other sundries sold by ‘Dr. G. T. Harvey.’ According to William Watts Hart Davis’s History of Doylestown, Old and New: From its Settlement to the Close of the Nineteenth Century, 1745-1900 (1904), Dr. George T. Harvey was a pioneer in the drug profession, building circa 1840 one of the first dedicated drugstores in the region. Born in Doylestown in 1813 and educated in the medical department at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvey was not only a physician and druggist but also served three times as postmaster and attained the rank of Captain during the Civil War.
The structure in the present daguerreotype is believed to have been located on the west side of North Main Street between Harvey’s family dwelling and the Doylestown bank. Although its façade and tenants changed with time, Harvey’s Drug Store, as it was called, stood until the end of the 19th century.