History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search

Record Details

Photograph (Experimental Photogenic Drawing), by Sir John Herschel, August 3, 1839

Inventory Number: 85715
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, August 3, 1839, made as a hypo fixing experiment during the series of experiments using hypo and water in which hypo fixing was perfected.

Subject: engraving 84016, lady with elbow on book
Technique: contact copy
Format: vertical
Polarity: negative
Orientation: laterally reversed
Quality: excellent highlights and detail
Colour: strong brown, darker border, grey and greenish areas or stains
Chemistry: silver based, presumably hypo fixed; arresting and washing in water were part of the hypo fixing procedure, and although the inscription might imply a different process using water, the sepia tone is generally characteristic of silver-based and hypo-fixed processes
Coating: none
Inscription: number, date, chemical note
Paper: thin
Condition: good
Purpose: a fixing experiment from the period when hypo fixing was perfected, presumably hypo fixed but possibly a variation using water (see above).

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions: '544. --[long dash] Aug.3/39 | Fixed in water Pump[?] 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
100 87 mm


Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/85715