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Sotheby’s: Notre Dame de Paris by Vincent Chevalier, circa 1840


Sotheby’s will sell on November 8th in Paris one of the first daguerreotype views of Notre-Dame de Paris, made in 1840 by Vincent Chevalier only a year after the public announcement by François Arago of the discovery of photography (estimate: 50,000 – 70,000 €).

Preserved for more than twenty years in the same collection, this photograph was taken before the restoration of  Notre-Dame cathedral begun in 1844, and the construction of the new spire by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. The work, in an excellent state of preservation, has a gray hue specific to the first daguerreotypes and a wealth of intact details.

Only two other comparable plates are now known. The first belongs to the collections of the History of Science Museum at Oxford, and the second, classified as National Treasure, is kept in private hands. This daguerreotype put on sale this fall in Paris is a unique opportunity to acquire one of the oldest photographic views of Notre Dame Cathedral.

An optician engineer from a family of opticians, Vincent Chevalier was among the pioneers of photography. He made several remarkable shots of Parisian monuments.







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