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Photograph (Experimental Photogenic Drawing), by Sir John Herschel, May 25, 1843

Inventory Number: 96216
Object Type:
Persons: Sir John Frederick William Herschel (Photographer)
Date Created: 1843
Accession Number: 1928-71
Brief Description: Experimental photogenic drawing by Sir John Herschel, May 25, 1843. One of the series of 'vapour image' experiments, exposed in low light and achieving a latent image developed by breath or moisture. This example was exposed for ten minutes at 6.30 in the evening in low sun. Like its companions (66017 and 83690) the image is largely obliterated by a rectangular yellow area as if caused by an adjacent or overlain paper.

Subject: engraving, ???lady
Technique: contact copy
Format: vertical
Polarity: negative
Orientation: laterally reversed
Quality: mostly obliterated by the yellow, details in part including within yellow segment
Colour: greyish pale purple, darker border, yellow both sides as if affected by an overlain sheet
Chemistry: xxxxx, developed by breath
Coating: none
Inscription: number, ??? weather and procedural note
Paper: xxx
Condition: good
Purpose: a vapour image experiment (see above_.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions: '895 10m. Watery gleam 6½ PM [sun symbol] low | almost mere [?...] no trace of picture | till breathed on | May 25/43' [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
131 103 mm


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