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Record Details

Photograph (Experimental Photogenic Drawing), by Sir John Herschel, February 17, 1839

Inventory Number: 18477
Object Type:
Persons: Sir John Frederick William Herschel (Photographer)
Date Created: 1839
Accession Number: 1928-71
Brief Description: Experimental photogenic drawing by Sir John Herschel, February 17, 1839, made as a fixing experiment during the earliest phase of his photographic researches. The yellow colour may indicate the use of potassium ferrocyanide as fixer. Herschel has revisited it after two months and added a note that the image was 'totally oblit[erate]d'.

Subject: no visible image
Technique: not apparent
Format: inscription horizontal
Polarity: not apparent
Orientation: not apparent
Quality: no visible image
Colour: pale primrose yellow both sides
Chemistry: silver based, probably fixed with potassium ferrocyanide or an iodide
Coating: none
Inscription: signature, date, inspection note
Paper: thin
Condition: good
Purpose: a fixing experiment, using an alternative to hypo, probably potassium ferrocyanide.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions: 'J.F.W.H. Phot. Feb. 17/39 April 11 totally oblitd.' [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): Paper
Height Width Depth Diameter Unit
73 112 mm


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