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Engraving (Used for Copying) from the Photographic Experiments of Sir John Herschel, c.1839

Inventory Number: 56241
Object Type:
Persons: Sir John Frederick William Herschel (Owner)
Date Created:
Accession Number: 1928-71
Brief Description: Engraving, horizontal format: landscape of a woodland glade or pasture with mountains, river, sheep, and horseman, river to left, light-trunked tree to right. Greyish staining on back, though it is not clear whether it has been lightly treated (waxed or oiled). An unusual print, perhaps a stipple engraving, with ink retouching by Herschel to create sharper highlights in the experimental copy (compare 29622). The photographic copy is 42550, made on February 17, 1839; and a positive photograph made from that is 70469. Herschel also retouched the former (the negative), and that is all that remains, the image having completely disappeared. The darkness and lack of sharpness of the print seems unlikely to have lent itself to successful copying, though it has a few good highlights. The attention Herschel has paid to retouching both engraving and photographic negative suggests that he saw it as a useful test object.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
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
107 163 mm


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