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An Even Newer Proposed Daguerreotype Of Joseph


jmhughes

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stn9 reporting for duty.... :) (thanks for the heads up, William)

I have already seen this proposed image being discussed elsewhere on the Internet, so . . . the Brazilian book in question will arrive via interlibrary loan in a week or two (requested yesterday afternoon). I will have a high-res scan of the printed image soon enough and I'll post images then. My prelimianry comparison shows difference in the forehead size and the left eye socket and brow seem a little off, but it could be due to the poor quality of the image I currently have.

Work on Joseph image-related issues has been going on nearly non-stop for 3 months and something may be forthcoming on that soon (I am not referring to Tracy's book). I now am less positive about the Scannel, though I want to see all that Shannon Tracy claims now (versus his 1995 book).

I still think his "swapped skulls" theory is wrong, but want to be more sure about that before I say much more. Stay tuned....

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The only thing that makes me think that this new daguerrerotype may not be Joseph Smith and that the first one might be more likely is due to the fact that the man in this newer one does not demonstrate a receded hairline at all and this is supposedly taken closer to the end of his life? The first one does clearly show a receded hairline and he's younger.

All those pictures and paintings known to be of Joseph Smith show him consistently with a clearly receded hairline. http://olivercowdery.com/smithhome/smithpix.htm

Just my $.02. :P

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The only thing that makes me think that this new daguerrerotype may not be Joseph Smith and that the first one might be more likely is due to the fact that the man in this newer one does not demonstrate a receded hairline at all and this is supposedly taken closer to the end of his life? The first one does clearly show a receded hairline and he's younger.

All those pictures and paintings known to be of Joseph Smith show him consistently with a clearly receded hairline. http://olivercowdery.com/smithhome/smithpix.htm

Just my $.02. :P

CG, I would say the hairline is fine. Speaking generally, Smith males tend to recede on the sides of the forehead, not the middle. The man in the daguerrotype's side hairline looks similar to other Smiths--those I know personally and photographs of earlier Smiths. Also, his hair is swept down over the front--so I'd say the hairline is not a problem.

My .02 cents also.

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CG, I would say the hairline is fine. Speaking generally, Smith males tend to recede on the sides of the forehead, not the middle. The man in the daguerrotype's side hairline looks similar to other Smiths--those I know personally and photographs of earlier Smiths. Also, his hair is swept down over the front--so I'd say the hairline is not a problem.

My .02 cents also.

I certainly don't know any Smiths, and I'm only going on what I see from that webpage in those two photographs and the paintings and drawings known to be of Joseph Smith. You would certainly know better about the pattern in the Smiths' receding hairlines and I completely agree just based on the paintings and drawings I've seen that the receding is at the sides of the forehead and not the middle.

I would say that this man clearly demonstrates that pattern:

Sthumb03a.jpg

This man is younger (if this was taken of Smith in 1839) and look at how high his hairline is already especially on the sides? Most of the depictions of Smith show the high forehead.

While this man does not demonstate a receding hairline on the side of the forehead that is visible:

Sthumb12a.jpg

Coupled with the fact that this man is an older Smith (if this was taken of Smith in 1842). His forehead doesn't look high enough and he doesn't have the receding hairline on the sides.

Not to mention that the hairstyle of this 2nd man is totally different from the pictures and paintings of Smith! The first man has the same hairstyle of the Joseph Smith in the pictures and paintings. Look at how the pictures and paintings show Joseph Smith to comb his hair UP off of the top of his forehead and he has that pouf with a curl on top? I don't see the combover like the 2nd guy.

Sthumb03a.jpgSthumb06.jpgSthumb14.jpgSthumb04.jpg

Anyway, it will be interesting to see if that same person will do the forensic analysis of this photo against the death mask as he did with the first photograph.

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Thanks for your thoughtful reply. As I have said in the past--I'm quite certain the Scannel daguerrotype is a Smith--I just don't believe it is Joseph Smith Jr. I believe the 1854 date on the back is the actual date and that the man in the picture is in his early 20's.

And one point I think we need to consider is about the hairstyle that we most often see Joseph Smth wearing in paintings and sketches--the sides brushed forward and the poufed high in front. This was a formal hairstyle which would not have been worn on a daily basis.

Also, note that in both daguerrotypes in question, neither man is wearing his hair in that formal style. The Scannel dag. man has his hair brushed back and the other has his hair brushed forward--it's not a combover--just brushed more forward.

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Thanks for your thoughtful reply. As I have said in the past--I'm quite certain the Scannel daguerrotype is a Smith--I just don't believe it is Joseph Smith Jr. I believe the 1854 date on the back is the actual date and that the man in the picture is in his early 20's.

That's what I think, too.

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...this newer one does not demonstrate a receded hairline at all...

true --

Here's one published in 1882 that does:

1882ThAm.jpg

UD

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That one looks a lot more like my mental image of Hyrum, imo. What paper was it from, by the way?

From the 1882 book "Through America," available at archive.org.

I believe that the engraving is a reconstruction, produced from a photo of JS's death mask.

UD

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true --

Here's one published in 1882 that does:

1882ThAm.jpg

UD

Sorry, I'm confused. :P

"This one 'Does what', Uncle Dale? Does NOT demonstrate a receded hairline or DOES demonstrate a receded hairline? Joseph Smith seems to have been consistently depicted as having this very high forehead, a hairstyle where his hair is combed off of his forehead and straight up into a pouf or curl, and a receding hairline on the sides of the forehead. I believe this image you posted is consistent with those characteristics and the first Daguerreotype:

Sthumb03a.jpg

This is the "newer" photograph that "does not demonstrate a receded hairline at all" I was referring to that you quoted:

Sthumb12a.jpg

This guy has a completely different combover hairstyle, no receding hairline, and an average forehead-- all of which I have not seen on any depictions of Joseph Smith.

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Or Hyrum's...

There is an old belief that the bumbling RLDS mixed up the brothers' bones when they were

dug up and relocated. If the "Joseph" skull has a chipped tooth, then that story is not correct.

Too bad the death mask does not have an open mouth, so we could check that same tooth, eh?

UD

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I like UD's Samuel Smith hypothesis for the time being. I look forward to further developments.

There is an old belief that the bumbling RLDS mixed up the brothers' bones when they were

dug up and relocated. If the "Joseph" skull has a chipped tooth, then that story is not correct.

Too bad the death mask does not have an open mouth, so we could check that same tooth, eh?

UD

I believe the tooth may have been repaired prior to the martyrdom, actually. Opening the Heavens has an account or two that mention something about it. It's not really verifiable so far from what I've seen by any stretch of the imagination, but kind of interesting.

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I find it quite astounding that, to this day, no one really knows what Joseph Smith looked like. The wide variation in renderings of his image are, to me, a fascinating commentary on the man -- as though no one saw him quite the same as the next guy. Several contemporary paintings were done -- all of them with significant differences one from another. And now these three different (four different?) alleged daguerreotypes -- no one of them quite like the other.

It just adds to the mystery of the man, of whom he himself said, "no man knows my history."

And, it would seem, no one will ever know just what he looked like . . .

Uncle Dale's latest posting of an 1880's picture of Joseph Jr. is a perfect example of why we have so many variations in renderings of Joseph's image. We have variations in the skills of the artists who rendered them!

This latest is not very well done.

I'm not sure I've seen one contemporary painting or sketch which showed exceptional skill by the artist and all the artists show the influence of the style which was popular at the time. But what can we expect? Those who tried to render his likeness did the best they could.

There are much better portraits that were done many years after his death and used the other artist's renderings and the death masks and have gotten the "Smith" features right.

What I'd like to see is someone do a forensic reconstruction of Joseph's and Hyrum using copies of their skulls. I think that would settle the question once and for all what they looked like.

I believe the tooth may have been repaired prior to the martyrdom

If this is true, a repair would still be seen--but I have to say, I'm extremely skeptical. I don't think dentistry had advanced that far. My understanding was that Joseph's tooth wasn't knocked completely out, it was chipped enough that he spoke with a whistle.

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Sorry, I'm confused. :P

"This one 'Does what', Uncle Dale? Does NOT demonstrate a receded hairline or DOES demonstrate a receded hairline? Joseph Smith seems to have been consistently depicted as having this very high forehead, a hairstyle where his hair is combed off of his forehead and straight up into a pouf or curl, and a receding hairline on the sides of the forehead. I believe this image you posted is consistent with those characteristics and the first Daguerreotype:

Sthumb03a.jpg

This is the "newer" photograph that "does not demonstrate a receded hairline at all" I was referring to that you quoted:

Sthumb12a.jpg

This guy has a completely different combover hairstyle, no receding hairline, and an average forehead-- all of which I have not seen on any depictions of Joseph Smith.

If you'll look at the death mask, you can see where Joseph's hairline is. If you look where you can see the hairline on the NewYork Dag, it is not out of line with the death mask.

I think some may have been mislead that the Scannel daguerrotype is a match for the death mask. According to Ephraim Hatch, who did a comparison, the Scannel daguerrotype does not match up with the death mask.

I think there are some clear problems with the Scannel. First off, the eyes are too close together to be Joseph's. Also, people described Joseph as having a "natural smile"--the Scannel daguerrotype does not have this. It's even evident in the death mask that his mouth corners turned up. The nose is wrong--yes, it's a "Smith" nose--but it's not the Joseph nose--which is different from Hyrum's and other Smiths.

Also, Ephraim Hatch states that the plate and decorative case date to the early 1850's. The proponents of this daguerrotype themselves admit to the 1854 date--but they insist it is a copy of an earlier daguerrotype, since if it does date to the 50's it can't be Joseph. This would mean that there were two copies and one is still missing.

Frankly, all we can do is prove these daguerrotypes are not Joseph. There is no way to definitively prove that either one is him. But if I had to choose, I'd choose the New York one because it looks much more like the descriptions which were given by his contemporaries and it fits the look of the death mask better and it fits the time period--but that still does not mean it's him. I'm not sure how someone would ever prove it was him.

The same with the Scannel. Just because someone donated it to the RLDS church in 1969 and said it was Joseph Smith Jr. doesn't prove it. And in my opinion, it has too many differences to make it a possible picture of Joseph as well as that pesky 1854 date on the back. ;)

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stn9 reporting for duty.... :P (thanks for the heads up, William)

I have already seen this proposed image being discussed elsewhere on the Internet, so . . . the Brazilian book in question will arrive via interlibrary loan in a week or two (requested yesterday afternoon). I will have a high-res scan of the printed image soon enough and I'll post images then. My prelimianry comparison shows difference in the forehead size and the left eye socket and brow seem a little off, but it could be due to the poor quality of the image I currently have.

Work on Joseph image-related issues has been going on nearly non-stop for 3 months and something may be forthcoming on that soon (I am not referring to Tracy's book). I now am less positive about the Scannel, though I want to see all that Shannon Tracy claims now (versus his 1995 book).

I still think his "swapped skulls" theory is wrong, but want to be more sure about that before I say much more. Stay tuned....

I knew you'd come through for us! I, like you, was initially leaning towards believing the Scannel image was bona fide, but the more I have thought about it and examined the various arguments made for and against, the more I am now convinced that it is not an image of Joseph Smith.

This Brazilian daguerreotype looks like how I would prefer to believe Joseph Smith appeared, but its provenance is so completely unknown that I find it difficult to believe it could be authentic.

We'll look forward to your analysis . . .

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What I'd like to see is someone do a forensic reconstruction of Joseph's and Hyrum using copies of their skulls. I think that would settle the question once and for all what they looked like.

If this is true, a repair would still be seen--but I have to say, I'm extremely skeptical. I don't think dentistry had advanced that far. My understanding was that Joseph's tooth wasn't knocked completely out, it was chipped enough that he spoke with a whistle.

I'm aware of the whistle. I believe there is a journal account that says something about the whistle going away at some point. I'll have to look into it.

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...

What I'd like to see is someone do a forensic reconstruction of Joseph's and Hyrum using copies

of their skulls...

You'll find some of that sort of thing in Ephraim Hatch's Joseph Smith Portraits.

UD

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Isn't the authenticity of the death masks in question?

It shouldn't be. It's the most accurate representation we have and I think death masks were considered pretty reliable, until now it seems. Some want to push the daguerrotype of the painting which Joseph Smith III thought was the best portrait of his father and it doesn't fit the death mask. And now the Scannel daguerrotype which also does not match the death mask (per Ephraim Hatch). Some have claimed that it's not accurate because Joseph fell out of a window or the body sat too long and his face was distored or he had fractures they didn't know about.

You'll find some of that sort of thing in Ephraim Hatch's Joseph Smith Portraits.

Yes, I have that book and it's got a lot of valuable information in it. However, I was thinking of an actual forensic reconstruction--the kind they do when they have a skull of a murder victim they can't identify and they will reconstruct the face from the skull. They also did this with King Tutenkhamen's skull a couple of years ago to get a 3D likeness of what he probably looked like.

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