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Record Details

Photograph (Experimental Photogenic Drawing), by Sir John Herschel, 1839

Inventory Number: 15672
Object Type:
Persons: Sir John Frederick William Herschel (Photographer)
Date Created:
Accession Number: 1928-71
Brief Description: Experimental photogenic drawing by Sir John Herschel, undated but 1839, made xxas a hypo fixing experiment during the earliest phase of his photographic researchesxx. On unusually stiff paper or card, and with the word 'Nitrate' written on the back (and perhaps other inscriptions trimmed away) not in Herschel's usual style.

Subject: engraving 38697, urban scene with large archway and horse and cart (printed caption beneath)
Technique: contact copy
Format: vertical
Polarity: negative
Orientation: laterally reversed
Quality: xxxxx
Colour: sepia
Chemistry: silver nitrate, probably hypo fixed
Coating: none
Inscription: chemical note (not in Herschel's usual style)
Paper: stiff card
Condition: good
Purpose: unusual in being supported on stiff card, so perhaps this was the purpose of the test; otherwise it is a coventional sensitising or fixing experiment.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions: 'Nitrate' [in Herschel's hand].
Provenance: Presented by Miss Herschel and Lady Lubbock in 1928. They were the two surviving and youngest children of Sir John Herschel (Francisca and Constance).
Collection Group: Herschel's Photographic Experiments
Material(s): Card
Height Width Depth Diameter Unit
112 80 mm


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