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Astronomical Scrapbook of Hartwell House, Aylesbury, Volume 2, Watermarked 1834, Mostly 1837-44

Inventory Number: 11894
Object Type:
Accession Number:
Brief Description: Contents include (see separate entries): manuscript paper quadrant; two decayed salted paper prints of the Cape of Good Hope Observatory by Charles Piazzi Smyth; five good salted paper prints, same; painted silhouette of Caroline Herschel; drawings of Mary Somerville and Francis Baily.
Primary Inscriptions:
Provenance: Presented by Dr A. E. Gunther in 1986. Part of the collections of his father R. T. Gunther, founding Curator of the Museum, previously on loan to the Museum. R. T. Gunther purchased various Hartwell House manuscripts and books from the Hartwell House sales in 1939.
Collection Group: Gunther Collection
Material(s): Paper
Card
Leather

Narratives

Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/11894

Drawing of a Bust of Mary Somerville, c.1844

Inventory Number: 11894
Object Type:
Accession Number:
Brief Description: In MS Gunther 36, f.147r, Hartwell House astronomical scrapbook, volume 2. Crayon portrait, head and shoulders in profile looking left, on a piece of paper. By an unknown artist, after Sir Francis Chantrey. The paper itself bears no inscription or mark. It is copied from the bust by Chantrey at the Royal Society, which was executed in 1832. The context indicates it was mounted in the album (along with the surrounding portraits of Caroline Herschel and Francis Baily) in 1844.
Primary Inscriptions:
Provenance: Presented by Dr A. E. Gunther in 1986. Part of the collections of his father R. T. Gunther, founding Curator of the Museum, previously on loan to the Museum. R. T. Gunther purchased various Hartwell House manuscripts and books from the Hartwell House sales in 1939.
Collection Group: Gunther Collection
Material(s): Paper
Card
Leather

Narratives

Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/11894

Drawing of Francis Baily, c.1844

Inventory Number: 11894
Object Type:
Accession Number:
Brief Description: In MS Gunther 36, f.148r, Hartwell House astronomical scrapbook, volume 2. Pencil portrait, head and shoulders in profile looking left, in a circle, on a piece of card. By an unknown artist. The card itself bears no inscription or mark. It shows an elderly Baily, who died on August 30, 1844. The context indicates it was mounted in the album (along with the preceding portraits of Caroline Herschel and Mary Somerville) in 1844, the wording of Lee's heading implying that this was before Baily's death. The circle might suggest it was copied from a medallion, though no such source is known, and Baily's bust was not executed until 1848; it may therefore have been drawn from life.
Primary Inscriptions:
Provenance: Presented by Dr A. E. Gunther in 1986. Part of the collections of his father R. T. Gunther, founding Curator of the Museum, previously on loan to the Museum. R. T. Gunther purchased various Hartwell House manuscripts and books from the Hartwell House sales in 1939.
Collection Group: Gunther Collection
Material(s): Paper
Card
Leather

Narratives

Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/11894

Manuscript Paper Quadrant, ?19th Century

Inventory Number: 11894
Object Type:
Accession Number:
Brief Description: In MS Gunther 36, between pp.53 and 54. Hand-drawn black ink ?horary quadrant on a square piece of rough paper, apparently signed but the writing is illegible. The actual quadrant is radius 118 mm. Long manuscript inscription on the back in an unknown script. The context suggests it was inserted in the album in 1839.
Primary Inscriptions:
Provenance: Presented by Dr A. E. Gunther in 1986. Part of the collections of his father R. T. Gunther, founding Curator of the Museum, previously on loan to the Museum. R. T. Gunther purchased various Hartwell House manuscripts and books from the Hartwell House sales in 1939.
Collection Group: Gunther Collection
Material(s): Paper
Card
Leather

Narratives

Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/11894

Painted Silhouette of Caroline Herschel, c.1770

Inventory Number: 11894
Object Type:
Accession Number:
Brief Description: In MS Gunther 36, f.146r, Hartwell House astronomical scrapbook, volume 2. Silhouette profile painted on white-glazed stiff card with silvered edges; black paint, with some grey wash at edges; very delicately painted at the edges, with fine detail of hair and dress. The actual painted image measures 89 mm in height from the top of the hair to the bottom point. The card itself bears no inscription or mark; it is fully pasted on to the page (so the back cannot be seen). It is the only portrait of Caroline Herschel as a young woman, and must have been painted before she left Hanover in 1772. Painted silhouettes had to be expertly copied for the benefit of family or friends, and it may of course be such a copy.
Primary Inscriptions:
Provenance: Presented by Dr A. E. Gunther in 1986. Part of the collections of his father R. T. Gunther, founding Curator of the Museum, previously on loan to the Museum. R. T. Gunther purchased various Hartwell House manuscripts and books from the Hartwell House sales in 1939. The silhouette was sent to John Lee of Hartwell House by G. F. Grotefend, of Hanover, in 1844.
Collection Group: Gunther Collection
Material(s): Paper
Card
Leather

Narratives

Image with multimedia irn 47809

Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/11894

Photograph (Salted Paper Print, Decayed) of the Cape of Good Hope Observatory, by Charles Piazzi Smyth, 1842 or 1843

Inventory Number: 11894
Object Type:
Accession Number:
Brief Description: In MS Gunther 36, p.101 top, Hartwell House astronomical scrapbook, volume 2. Decayed, one of two photographs on page 101 which have entirely lost their images, though the dark border can just be seen. They are a powdery dark brown, with white speckles, and also blobs of discoloration from the adhesive. A contemporary interleaving sheet is tipped in to protect them, the only one in the volume, indicating that they were unstable and deteriorating from the outset. They had probably already lost their images by the time the five good photographs dated February 1843 were added ten leaves further on. The magnetic observatory was newly built in 1842. They are the earliest known photographs to have been taken in South Africa.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions:
Provenance: Presented by Dr A. E. Gunther in 1986. Part of the collections of his father R. T. Gunther, founding Curator of the Museum, previously on loan to the Museum. R. T. Gunther purchased various Hartwell House manuscripts and books from the Hartwell House sales in 1939. The photograph was sent to John Lee of Hartwell House by Mrs Smyth, the photographer's mother, in 1843.
Collection Group: Gunther Collection
Material(s): Paper
Card
Leather

Narratives

Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/11894

Photograph (Salted Paper Print, Decayed) of the Cape of Good Hope Observatory, by Charles Piazzi Smyth, 1842 or 1843

Inventory Number: 11894
Object Type:
Accession Number:
Brief Description: In MS Gunther 36, p.101 bottom, Hartwell House astronomical scrapbook, volume 2. Decayed, one of two photographs on page 101 which have entirely lost their images, though the dark border can be seen. They are a powdery dark brown, with white speckles, and also blobs of discoloration from the adhesive. A contemporary interleaving sheet is tipped in to protect them, the only one in the volume, indicating that they were unstable and deteriorating from the outset. They had probably already lost their images by the time the five good photographs dated February 1843 were added ten leaves further on. The captions to this suggest it may have been a version of the view of the Magnetic Observatory buildings and setting represented by f.113r top and ff.114-5. The magnetic observatory was newly built in 1842. They are the earliest known photographs to have been taken in South Africa.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions:
Provenance: Presented by Dr A. E. Gunther in 1986. Part of the collections of his father R. T. Gunther, founding Curator of the Museum, previously on loan to the Museum. R. T. Gunther purchased various Hartwell House manuscripts and books from the Hartwell House sales in 1939. The photograph was sent to John Lee of Hartwell House by Mrs Smyth, the photographer's mother, in 1843.
Collection Group: Gunther Collection
Material(s): Paper
Card
Leather

Narratives

Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/11894

Photograph (Salted Paper Print) of the Cape of Good Hope Observatory, by Charles Piazzi Smyth, February 1843

Inventory Number: 11894
Object Type:
Accession Number:
Brief Description: In MS Gunther 36, f.113r top, Hartwell House astronomical scrapbook, volume 2. Shows a shed with verandah right, a larger building with trellis verandah left, and indistinct buildings including a small pyramid-roofed instrument shelter centre. Very pale sepia, dark brown borders top and bottom. Slight damage from adhesive at left. The photograph at ff.114-115 captioned 'Magnetic Observatory buildings, erected 1842' is a better view of the same group of buildings. One of five good and two decayed photographs contributed by Smyth to John Lee's astronomical scrapbooks. They are the earliest known photographs to have been taken in South Africa.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions:
Provenance: Presented by Dr A. E. Gunther in 1986. Part of the collections of his father R. T. Gunther, founding Curator of the Museum, previously on loan to the Museum. R. T. Gunther purchased various Hartwell House manuscripts and books from the Hartwell House sales in 1939. The photograph was given to John Lee of Hartwell House by the photographer in 1843.
Collection Group: Gunther Collection
Material(s): Paper
Card
Leather

Narratives

Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/11894

Photograph (Salted Paper Print) of the Cape of Good Hope Observatory, by Charles Piazzi Smyth, February 1843

Inventory Number: 11894
Object Type:
Accession Number:
Brief Description: In MS Gunther 36, f.114r top, Hartwell House astronomical scrapbook, volume 2. Shows the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, with central classical portico, and chiefly the large, flat-roofed left wing with dome, seen from the left. Very pale sepia, dark brown border. One of five good and two decayed photographs contributed by Smyth to John Lee's astronomical scrapbooks. They are the earliest known photographs to have been taken in South Africa.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions:
Provenance: Presented by Dr A. E. Gunther in 1986. Part of the collections of his father R. T. Gunther, founding Curator of the Museum, previously on loan to the Museum. R. T. Gunther purchased various Hartwell House manuscripts and books from the Hartwell House sales in 1939. The photograph was given to John Lee of Hartwell House by the photographer in 1843.
Collection Group: Gunther Collection
Material(s): Paper
Card
Leather

Narratives

Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/11894

Photograph (Salted Paper Print) of the Cape of Good Hope Observatory, by Charles Piazzi Smyth, 1843

Inventory Number: 11894
Object Type:
Accession Number:
Brief Description: In MS Gunther 36, between ff.114 and 115, Hartwell House astronomical scrapbook, volume 2. It is a superior view of the same group of buildings shown in the companion photograph on f.113 captioned 'New buildings ...' (and probably also the completely decayed photograph on p.110 bottom). It shows a shed with verandah right, a larger building with trellis verandah left, a tower-like building centre, and a small pyramid-roofed instrument shelter left of centre, with a pointed mountain in the background. The magnetic observatory was newly built in 1842, and represented a programme of magnetical observations promoted by Sir John Herschel. Pale sepia, but good clear image. Mounted on a piece of light card or stiff paper, cream in colour, with framing lines drawn in ink. The photograph itself has part of a Whatman watermark; and Smyth's caption is written on the mount. The mounting and position, and the fact that it repeats one of the earlier views, suggest that this one was added to the group slightly later. One of five good and two decayed photographs contributed by Smyth to John Lee's astronomical scrapbooks. They are the earliest known photographs to have been taken in South Africa.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions: Manuscript caption on mount: 'Calotyped by C.P.S. | Magnetic Observatory buildings, erected 1842.' [in Smyth's hand].
Provenance: Presented by Dr A. E. Gunther in 1986. Part of the collections of his father R. T. Gunther, founding Curator of the Museum, previously on loan to the Museum. R. T. Gunther purchased various Hartwell House manuscripts and books from the Hartwell House sales in 1939. The photograph was given to John Lee of Hartwell House by the photographer in 1843.
Collection Group: Gunther Collection
Material(s): Paper
Card
Leather

Narratives

Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/11894

Photograph (Salted Paper Print) of the Cape of Good Hope Observatory, by Charles Piazzi Smyth, February 1843

Inventory Number: 11894
Object Type:
Accession Number:
Brief Description: In MS Gunther 36, f.114r bottom, Hartwell House astronomical scrapbook, volume 2. Shows the interior of a room with central desk and an equatorially-mounted refracting telescope on a tripod; the tripod incorporates a quadrant, and the desk contains drawing boards and instruments, including a parallel ruler (indicating that 'Drawing room' in the caption is to be taken literally). Brown, darker border. Slight damage from adhesive at left. One of five good and two decayed photographs contributed by Smyth to John Lee's astronomical scrapbooks. They are the earliest known photographs to have been taken in South Africa.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions:
Provenance: Presented by Dr A. E. Gunther in 1986. Part of the collections of his father R. T. Gunther, founding Curator of the Museum, previously on loan to the Museum. R. T. Gunther purchased various Hartwell House manuscripts and books from the Hartwell House sales in 1939. The photograph was given to John Lee of Hartwell House by the photographer in 1843.
Collection Group: Gunther Collection
Material(s): Paper
Card
Leather

Narratives

Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/11894

Photograph (Salted Paper Print) of the Cape of Good Hope Observatory, by Charles Piazzi Smyth, February 1843

Inventory Number: 11894
Object Type:
Accession Number:
Brief Description: In MS Gunther 36, f.113r bottom, Hartwell House astronomical scrapbook, volume 2. Shows the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, with central classical portico, tower, and two large, flat-roofed side wings each with a dome, seen from slightly below and to the right. Sepia, darker sepia border, the bottom border showing the apparently crumpled bottom of the negative. Damaged along left side from adhesive, and top right corner torn. One of five good and two decayed photographs contributed by Smyth to John Lee's astronomical scrapbooks. They are the earliest known photographs to have been taken in South Africa.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions:
Provenance: Presented by Dr A. E. Gunther in 1986. Part of the collections of his father R. T. Gunther, founding Curator of the Museum, previously on loan to the Museum. R. T. Gunther purchased various Hartwell House manuscripts and books from the Hartwell House sales in 1939. The photograph was given to John Lee of Hartwell House by the photographer in 1843.
Collection Group: Gunther Collection
Material(s): Paper
Card
Leather

Narratives

Image with multimedia irn 53502

Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/11894