Estonian daguerreotypes soon to be published in Daguerreobase

Joseph Weninger Estonian History Museum AM F 20114Today, only 22 daguerreotypes are known to exist in the collections of Estonian museums, archives, and libraries.

The Estonian Photographic Heritage Society, in cooperation with several curators of photographic collections, is gathering stories about the dawn of photography in Estonia and all daguerreotypes are soon to be published in the Daguerreobase.

Unknown daguerreotypist Estonian Literary Museum EKLA B-85 112News about Daguerre's invention spread widely among the German-speaking people. For this reason, it is believed that those who read German newspapers in Estonia became aware of this photographic process shortly after the first announcement. First notes about making and selling daguerreotypes as well as equipment in Estonia were published in newspapers in 1840.

However, the oldest daguerreotype that we know of so far in Estonian photographic collections is dated around 1844 and was taken in Saint Petersburg, Russia. During the 1840s, eight itinerant daguerreotypists travelled through Estonia, taking photographs in Tallinn and Tartu. They were either coming from or heading to Finland, Russia, or elsewhere.


Image captions: 

Three quarter length portrait of a young man. Daguerreotypist: Joseph Weninger, ca. 1840-1850s. Housing size: 17,0x13,3x0,6 cm. Estonian History Museum, AM F 20114:1

Three quarter length portrait of Leopold Krohn. Unknown daguerreotypist. Housing size: 15,6x13,1x0,5 cm. Estonian Literary Museum, EKLA B-85:112