History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search

Record Details

Photograph (Experimental Photogenic Drawing, Phytotype), by Sir John Herschel, 1841

Inventory Number: 95939
Object Type:
Persons: Sir John Frederick William Herschel (Photographer)
Date Created: 1841
Accession Number: 1928-71
Brief Description: Experimental photogenic drawing (phytotype) by Sir John Herschel, 1841, made during his exploration of alternative sensitising agents to silver salts, the most unusual of which were juices extracted from flower petals, producing these 'vegetable photographs'.

Subject: engraving, ships
Technique: direct-positive contact copy
Format: horizontal
Polarity: positive
Orientation: laterally reversed
Quality: faint???
Colour: mustard yellow, back plain
Chemistry: phytotype, dyed with red stock
Coating: none
Inscription: signature, date
Paper: xxx
Condition: good
Purpose: an experiment with the photographic possibilities of light-sensitive dyes extracted from flower petals.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions: 'J.F.W. Herschel Photogr /41.' [in Herschel's hand] written in ink below a very faint (?rubbed out) pencil inscription giving type and date but largely illegible.
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
Dimensions:
Height Width Depth Diameter Unit
89 114 mm

Narratives

Permalink: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/object/inv/95939