It’s not much to look at, a blotchy photo of a drawing of Johannes Enschedé III, but this is the oldest photo of the country according to De Pers (Dutch). To be precise, it’s the first daguerreotype photo sent to the Netherlands. It was discovered recently in the private museum of Royal Joh. Enschedé, the famous printers from Haarlem (1703) who amongst other things used to print the Dutch bank notes and passports.
The museum’s website reports (Dutch) that the photo was sent from France by Jeanne Enschedé – Dalen, who lived in Paris, to Haarlem where it arrived on October 4, 1839.
In De Pers’ article Andrea Roosen, an employee of the museum, calls the family a bunch of pack rats. When they discovered a note in Johannes Enschedé III’s 1839 diary about the payment for reception of the photo to the courier or mailman, “we knew that that photo still had to be around.” Daguerre had announced the invention of his type of photography only that same year.
The photo will be displayed as part of a larger exhibition of Daguerreotypes of the Enschedé family at photo museum Huis Marseille in Amsterdam from today until May 24.