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

Inventory Number: 89565
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 of the tip of a piece of fern, by W. H. F. Talbot, undated but 1839. The small paper is unevenly cut to an irregular shape, partly curved, in a manner typical of Talbot; it is the smaller part of a larger photograph of fern which he has cut into two (the larger part being 11889). The image is light beige on a dark greenish brown ground. In spite of the packet name ('not fixed') it is evidently more successfully fixed than most of the Talbot sepcimens in the collection, possibly with salt (sodium chloride). Given to Herschel by Talbot as a specimen of the current state of his photogenic drawing process.

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
35 38 mm


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