Friday, July 17, 2009

8. Case of the missing button and much more...

In my last blog, I baited the blog audience with a written line about a missing button. I might add that where it is missing, is from the painting of Joseph Smith owned by the Community Church of Christ (RLDS Church). The button is located on the vest, possible to hold a pocket watch is my guess. I searched my saved images to see if I could see any button on the painting finally giving way to call Ron Romig, archivist for the Community Church of Christ. He graciously the next day went to check out the painted image himself and there was indeed no button. He gave me some possible ways it could have been removed such as a repaint due to damage or something, but when I looked at a photo of the painting taken in late 1800's, there is no button as well. My question is, why would you paint a button out of a painting? If you were restoring an image you would not edit things out of it, you would restore the painting to the previous state as to appear unaltered.

The funny thing is when I painted a painting from my picture a couple of months ago I missed the button too. The micro-scan we did in SLC at Borg Anderson Photography yielded much more information about the picture such as a button we had not seen before. Here is the interesting part; the Library of Congress image shows the suggestion of the button or buttons. As I have always contended it is an edited version of my Joseph Smith photo and not an edited version of the painting.

Another neat finding came about a couple of days ago as I was looking at the image in Photoshop. I had this feeling that I was just missing something, that there was more, more I could use to prove this was a real photograph. I was playing with the contrast and multiplying the image over its self to enhance what information was already present but not visual to the human eye. Suddenly, it was a WOW moment! What I noted was an "S" over the knot of his cravat. I multiplied it further to enhance the image, and there it was. What I think it could be is a monogrammed locket with an "S", or it could possibly be a tie pin, but it seems a bit large for that. I also see suggestions of a chain possible. Furthermore, I might add that the Community Church of Christ's painting does not have anything like this on it. I did read that Emma had a locket of Joseph's hair she wore, which was passed onto her daughter Julia. Is it possible Emma originally gave Joseph the locket, and he was photographed with it?
Note: In the photo, I superimposed a monogrammed gold "S" below it as an example, it doesn't appear to be the exact font but is similar in design.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WOW! The cravat pin and buttons are such great details.