Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
I am always fascinated by these mysteries, but in my experience they usually get involved in so much minutiae that the central question becomes lost. I have no particular knowledge of the Brontes, but as a photo historian, this looks to me to be an attractive if otherwise normal c. 1850s-1860s ambrotype. It is taken outside which is not unusual for a British ambrotype but very unusual for a daguerreotype. The sharpness does not make it appear to be a copy. The dress looks very much from the 1850s-1860s and certainly not c. 1847. Of course one would prefer to see the original but I cannot see any signs that it is a copy.
I may have read the information too quickly but I also don’t understand the attribution to John Stewart. I don’t see why just because Stewart copied an important Bronte portrait, this suggests he also copied a daguerreotype that might never have even existed.
It seems to me that all the convoluted speculation stems form an attempt to force a large foot into a tiny glass slipper. In other words, there is an attempt to date this photograph from a period when all three sisters were alive but there is nothing else to clearly suggest the photograph is from before 1848.
The only 'dress' visible are the cloaks- 2 from Brussels, sumptuous Brussells chenile, and on of more humble, domestic fabric, and the hats, continental norm from 1830's. The resolution is exceptional, picking out individual asymmetric foibles, enabling firm subject identity and confirming the photo is a positive optical image, not reversed.
Hi ,Thats really interesting with regards to the date as it corresponds to the clothing the girls are wearing in the photograph which is around the 1860s and certaintly not the late 1840s