History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search

Record Details

Photograph (Experimental Photogenic Drawing), by Sir John Herschel, April 20, 1839

Inventory Number: 19329
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, April 20, 1839, made as a fixing and positive printing experiment during the earliest phase of his photographic researches. This is a positive print from a negative (42550) that Herschel extensively retouched and that has completely lost its chemical image; only very slight hints of the image remain in this positive (a little more survives on 70469).

Subject: engraving 56241, woodland glade with mountains
Technique: contact copy (print) from a negative
Format: horizontal
Polarity: positive
Orientation: correct
Quality: barely discernible, slight remnants only
Colour: pale fawn or plain paper, plain back with discoloration marks as if from juxtaposition to other papers
Chemistry: silver based, probably hypo fixed
Coating: none
Inscription: date
Paper: heavy, larger than usual
Condition: good
Purpose: a positive printing experiment using the negative (42550) which has been extensively retouched.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions: 'April 20/39' [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
111 168 mm


Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/19329