A photograph taken March 1843 in Washington, D.C. is the oldest known photograph of a U.S. President, but could this be the oldest known photograph of a U.S. Ambassador too? John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States from 1825 to 1829, but before that he was also the fifth U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands from 1794 to 1797. This 174-year-old photograph is going on sale October 5th, according to the New York Times.
A statement from the auction house Sotheby’s calls the piece “an invaluable document” adding that “this daguerreotype [crystallizes] a remarkable moment in the history of photography and American politics.” According to the Smithsonian magazine, this daguerreotype is older than another surviving photograph from just a few months later, when Adams sat for a portrait in New York that he later deemed “hideous.” The other image (see right) is now held by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. We think the Ambassador/President looks just fine.
Read more here.