I recently came across of "Pushkin's daguerreotype", and was naturally awed by that. The daguerreotype bares strong resemblance to known portraits of Pushkin, but is it real or a hoax?
The first thing one would look into is whether the timeframe of daguerreotype invention make it possible. It "sort of" does: daguerreotypes we invented no later than 1835, and Pushkin died in 1837. However, the quality of earliest daguerreotypes, and the demands on exposure times, make the reality of this one highly doubtful. For example, "the earliest daguerreotype of a person" according to Wikipedia, the bottom picture here, is dated 1838, a year after Pushkin's death. Also, the existence of a photograph of a person as famous as Pushkin would've been famous as well.
Thus, with the deepest sigh of regret, I have to assume that this one is a hoax.
Which brings me to the question I'd like to ask here: is there a publicly available catalog of known early 19th century daguerreotypes?
In case of Pushkin it didn't take me too long to conclude it was a hoax because the timeframe didn't quite match the quality, but what would one do with a daguerreotype allegedly taken in, say, 1845? There couldn't have been too many of those.