There seems to be an emphasis on the sleeve cuffs on the hands :: They are quite ornate in style :: They seem to me to be associated with a church official, most likely with the Catholic Church :: Perhaps the owners were associated with the Catholic Church and the hands are a symbol of the Catholic faith of the owner, but if a random person happened to see these hands it would not be totally obvious that they indicated membership in the Catholic church ::
Anti-Catholicism became a frenzy from 1840 to 1860:
"The resulting "nativist" movement, which achieved prominence in the 1840s, was whipped into a frenzy of anti-Catholicism that led to mob violence, the burning of Catholic property, and the killing of Catholics. This violence was fed by claims that Catholics were destroying the culture of the United States. Irish Catholic immigrants were blamed for spreading violence and drunkenness.
The nativist movement found expression in a national political movement called the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850s, which (unsuccessfully) ran former president Millard Fillmore as its presidential candidate in 1856."
So this is just my theory that the hands are a symbol of Catholic faith at a time when showing an obvious belonging to the Catholic church could have brought danger to the owner of the hands due to the "nativist" movement which was influencing American culture during this time :::::