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Photograph (Experimental Photogenic Drawing, Cyanotype), by Sir John Herschel, c.1842

Inventory Number: 58467
Object Type:
Persons: Sir John Frederick William Herschel (Photographer)
Date Created:
Accession Number: 1928-71
Brief Description: Experimental photogenic drawing (cyanotype) by Sir John Herschel, undated, c.1842. Narrow border. The positive cyanotypes that are not direct positives were probably made from a conventional silver-based, hypo-fixed negative (such as 23691). This was one of the Herschel experimental photographs extracted from the collection for display in the Museum (hence R. T. Gunther's inscription; the other one displayed was the oak leaf 60339); in spite of which it has retained a strong colour and image. Compare 29196 (a companion, also displayed and very faded).

Subject: engraving 28374, lady with guitar
Technique: contact copy (print) from a negative
Format: vertical
Polarity: positive
Orientation: correct
Quality: good, even though dark and with no clean highlights
Colour: strong blue (greenish compared to the companion 28304), plain border and back
Chemistry: cyanotype
Coating: none
Inscription: number
Paper: thick
Condition: good, nick from edge (compare 25880)
Purpose: a cyanotype positive printing experiment.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions: '784'.
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
120 95 mm


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