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Record Details

Photograph (Experimental Photogenic Drawing), by Sir John Herschel, April 19, 1839

Inventory Number: 39362
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 19, 1839, made as a fixing experiment during the earliest phase of his photographic researches. The quality is almost that of the best hypo fixing experiments of the period, so it is not clear whether Herschel's annotation means it was fixed exclusively with distilled water, or with hypo in conjunction with distilled water.

Subject: engraving 20908, two ladies with weeping boy
Technique: contact copy
Format: horizontal
Polarity: negative
Orientation: laterally reversed
Quality: good detail and contrast, pale at left
Colour: reddish brown, darker border
Chemistry: silver based, fixed with distilled water
Coating: none
Inscription: date, chemical note
Paper: thin
Condition: good
Purpose: a fixing experiment using distilled water.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions: 'April 19/39 Distilled water' [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
85 113 mm


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