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Stereoscopic Photograph (Albumen Prints on Card) of Sir Thomas Romney Robinson, Attributed to Mary Parsons, Countess of Rosse, c.1862

Inventory Number: 66260
Object Type:
Persons: Sir John Thomas Romney Robinson (Subject)
Mary Parsons (Photographer)
Date Created:
Accession Number: 1988-88
Brief Description: Stereoscopic albumen prints mounted on yellow card, arched tops. Portrait of Thomas Romney Robinson, seated three-quarter length, his body facing front but his head looking to right. He is sitting in a bower with foliage as if arched over him; the stereoscopic effect is greatest in the foliage, which appears at several depths. A marked shadow across his body in the right-hand photograph only may be a chemical defect, though it could be a real shadow as either the sunlight or the exposure of this image is markedly brighter than the companion. According to the donor a similar single photograph exists dated 1862.
The card has no photographer's name or label, but the notes identifying the subject on the back are by members of Robinson's family, the original owners. Both facts suggest it is a privately taken photograph, and certainly not one of the commercially distributed stereoscopic photographs, though it dates from the height of the fashion for them. Since Mary Countess of Rosse (see 12668) not only photographed Robinson but took stereoscopic photographs at that time, and was an active figure in the Irish astronomical community until her husband's death in 1867, it would be plausible to attribute the photograph to her.
Primary Inscriptions: Several pencil inscriptions on back of card, as follows: 'Dr T Romney Robinson (Astronomer - Armagh) about 1865'; 'He grew a beard about 1870 HJB'; and '1st Note in hand of Harriet Jessie Butler (née Edgeworth) his neice by marriage 2nd note in hand of her daughter CVB' [2nd appears to refer to first and vice versa].
Provenance: Presented by Mrs Christina Colvin in 1985. Originally belonged to the subject's niece Harriet Jessie Butler.
Collection Group:
Material(s): Paper
Height Width Depth Diameter Unit
73 68 mm


Image with multimedia irn 33647