I am hoping that someone with knowledge of 19th-century photography and female fashion might be able to tell me something about two of my family's treasures. One I think might be a daguerreotype: it is of my great-great-grandmother Fanny Dobson of Colne, probably dated around 1851. The photograph is on glass set in a tooled leather case lined with red velvet. The case measures 8 cm x 9.5 cm. The other is a sampler stitched by her at the age of 14 in 1847 measuring 58 cm x 63 cm
Fanny's father, Joseph seems to have had a chequered career. As a young man he was a handloom weaver but by 1851 he is describing himself as a cotton manufacturer then a linen dealer, commercial traveller, tripe dealer and draper. By 1861 he appears to have more or less abandoned his family and gone to live in Oldham. The family he left behind were certainly not rich: most of the women worked in the mills and the men were soldiers, butchers and labourers. Yet it appears to me that for a period in the 1840s and 50s they were very well off indeed.
Any information on the photograph, the sampler, the dress Fanny is wearing, and what they say about her circumstances would be greatly appreciated.