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

Inventory Number: 26223
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 by W. H. F. Talbot, undated but 1839. Cut to an irregular torpedo or whale shape, curved at one short edge and angular at the other; there are several vertical creases where the paper has apparently been folded. Mostly without any clear image, but a small segment of fern is clearly visible at the right or pointed end, white on pink. The rest of the paper is blotchy dark pinkish red, and appears to contain on close examination indistinct vestigial fern and flower-like images (?perhaps of several different specimens), including fern-like features left of centre and a linear feature ending in a flower (right, similar to the heather specimen in 49660). The back is mauve and yellowish. 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
71 156 mm


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