But, the easiest way to tell if you have a daguerreotype is to see if it has that reflection, just like a mirror.You have to tilt it back and forth to see the image.This is assuming you have a copystand or at least a tripod, as well as a close-up lens.If you do not, any good photographer should be able to photograph the image(s) for you.A "Union Case" and is an example of an early thermoplastic technology, being produced from about 1855 to 1865. A mixture of shellac and wood fibers were pressed into a steel mold.Some people call them gutta-percha cases but that is not a correct term, better being "thermoplastic case" or, as we use, a "Union Case". And to think we thought "plastics" were new in the 1950s, look at the quality they achieved in the 1850s!Caution: No matter how you chose to reproduce the daguerreotypes, do not take off the coverglass as the image is fragile and any damage (scratches, fingerprints, etc.) would be permanent.This can be done but is best done by someone with experience and with the proper materials to reseal the daguerreotype properly to prevent future tarnishing.
This was then put into a small hinged case, similar to a woman's compact.
Just gently pry the package (glass and all) out but do not take the packet (glass, metal plate, etc.) apart.
If the glass or mat is loose, carefully put it back together and scan it case and all, read the caution below.
To do this you may wish to remove the image from the case.
Doing this will get the image closer to the scanner's glass and help keep the focus sharp.