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Record Details

Photograph (Experimental Photogenic Drawing), by Sir John Herschel, February 26, 1839

Inventory Number: 97918
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, February 26, 1839, made as a hypo fixing experiment during the earliest phase of his photographic researches. The image is represented by very heavy ink and wash retouching only, including the entire sky, the photographic image has completely disappeared. The retouching indicates that it was used as a negative in positive printing (and retouching) experiments. No border.

Subject: engraving, man riding a long-horned bull
Technique: contact copy
Format: horizontal
Polarity: negative
Orientation: laterally reversed
Quality: photographic image completely disappeared
Colour: plain paper, grey and black??? ink
Chemistry: silver based, hypo fixed
Coating: ink and wash retouching
Inscription: date, chemical note
Paper: thin
Condition: good
Purpose: a hypo fixing experiment, afterwards used as a test negative in positive printing (and retouching) experiments.

For fuller descriptive and historical commentary see narratives.
Primary Inscriptions: 'Feb. 26/39 HS. so.' [hyposulphite of soda; 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
93 129 mm


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