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Photograph (Experimental Photogenic Drawing), by Sir John Herschel, June 28, 1839

Inventory Number: 18583
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, June 28, 1839, made as a fixing experiment. One of those which Herschel has subjected to a series of treatments over a period. It is unusual in employing the technique of the masked area; the rectangular portion marked alpha on the back retains a superior sepia/brown and very detailed image.

Subject: engraving 23746, landscape with figure on cliff above river
Technique: contact copy (print) from a negative
Format: horizontal
Polarity: positive
Orientation: correct
Quality: poor, except in segment at right
Colour: murky sepia, stains, strong sepia/brown in segment at right (no sign of the blue colour mentioned in the inscription)
Chemistry: silver based, probably hypo fixed then treated with potassium ferrocyanide, sodium carbonate, and something else
Coating: none
Inscription: date, chemical and procedural note
Paper: xxx
Condition: good
Purpose: a fixing and positive printing experiment, concerned with trying additional treatments perhaps for bleaching and colouring.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions: 'June 28 ± Fixed then | 1st. partly washed with exception of | portion [alpha] with F.C. Pot weak ([1 over 20]) | then July 29 with very weak carb soda | to [?]take [?]one a strong blue colour & then | [...?]. of the P[...?]iate' [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
Dimensions:
Height Width Depth Diameter Unit
86 121 mm

Narratives

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