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

Inventory Number: 39276
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 as a hypo fixing experiment. The annotation or squiggle 'N' might perhaps be taken as indicating silver nitrate. This was the normal sensitiser though there is some indication that Herschel preferred silver chloride or carbonate, so that his occasional annotations referring to nitrate may indicate departures from his usual chemistry (for instance 15672 and 21527, and compare 84581).

Subject: engraving 20908, two ladies with weeping boy
Technique: contact copy
Format: horizontal
Polarity: negative
Orientation: laterally reversed
Quality: good centre but burnt out left and right
Colour: reddish brown, darker brown border but faded to buff all round edges
Chemistry: silver nitrate, hypo fixed
Coating: none
Inscription: chemical note
Paper: thin
Condition: good
Purpose: a hypo fixing experiment.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions: '(NS) very completely fixed. HS. So' [nitrate of silver, hyposulphite of soda; in Herschel's hand]. 'N' on front.
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
99 124 mm


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