Cover Glass Replacement

Although it may seem to be a relatively simple task to replace deteriorated glass on cased images there are risks involved.  There are many ways to to damage the daguerreotype when removing it from the case to change the glass.  Here is a short but by no means a complete list of damage created by well meaning but inexperienced hands.

  •  split or torn leather hinges on the case 
  • broken case rails caused by prying the image package out the the case.
  • deformed and bent preservers 
  • broken preservers
  • dings and deformation of the daguerreotype plate while prying the image out of the case
  • abrasion on the surface of the daguerreotype due to shifting between the plate and the sharp edged mat opening.
  • wipes, scratches or finger prints on the daguerreotype
  • visible mat marks from mis-aligned plate, mat and glass components
  • ineffective seals
  • broken case components due to poorly fitted replacement glass

I stock 2mm and 3mm low-iron Electro-verre glass for plain and reverse paint cover glass replacements and take care to cut each piece to precisely match the original dimensions.  

Conservation Treatments

Every daguerreotype is unique in terms of the techniques and materials of its making, as well as its history related to environmental conditions and past conservation efforts.  These factors must be clearly understood when evaluating treatment options for these irreplaceable images.  Many important cultural heritage daguerreotypes have been lost or damaged beyond repair by well intentioned but misinformed conservation attempts.


Daguerreotypes received by Century Darkroom are photographed to record their pre-treatment condition using a Phase ONE IQ140 digital back including an X-rite colorchecker for reference.  The image is re-photographed in post-treatment condition.  Photo-documentation is provided free of charge for all conservation services.  If you require a written condition report in pdf format, they can be provided for an additional fee.    

If you would like to discuss conservation issues related to daguerreotypes, please click here...