Staff Pick: Portrait of Edmund Murney

Watch Curator, Rona, as she describes her artifact pick: an enameled daguerreotype of Edmund Murney from the Regional collection.

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This artifact is an enameled daguerreotype of the Honourable Edmund Murney. It is part of the Regional Collection, currently on display in the library at Glanmore.


Murney was a lawyer and the first clerk of the peace in Belleville, Ontario. He represented Hastings in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, and later in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada.

Close up on the portrait of Edmund Murney, it is possible to see some brush strokes from the enamel.

This artifact is an enameled daguerreotype. The daguerreotype was the first successful and practical form of photography, popular from 1839 to about 1860.  This portrait was coloured using a technique developed by Desire-Francois Millet, of applying coloured enamel to a daguerrotype to produce a coloured image.

Label from the back of the portrait, which names Millet as Artist Professeur, and explains the process he developed.

On the back of the portrait is a label which explains the process of the enameled daguerreotype, including the year and an explanation of the process developed by Millet.