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Photograph (Experimental Photogenic Drawing) of Magnified Lace, by W. H. Fox Talbot, from the Photographic Experiments of Sir John Herschel, 1839

Inventory Number: 79213
Object Type:
Persons: William Henry Fox Talbot (Photographer)
Sir John Frederick William Herschel (Owner)
Date Created:
Accession Number: 1928-71
Brief Description: Experimental photogenic drawing (photomicrograph) of magnified lace by W. H. F. Talbot, undated but September 1839, made as an experiment in photographing microscope images. The paper is unevenly cut, semi-circular with the bottom right corner cut away, and inscribed on the back by Talbot. It shows a negative image of plain pattern lace as magnified and projected through the solar microscope, the pale lilac coloured image faint (probably faded) but good. Given to Herschel by Talbot as a specimen of his experiments with photography by means of the solar microscope.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions: Inscribed on back: 'Lace | in the Solar microscope' [in Talbot'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
66 90 mm


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