British photographic history

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Dated and named photographic paper used in 1862 CDV by GW Wilson.

Has anyone encountered a GW Wilson where the photographer or his employee used an area of photographic paper with the watermark not eliminated?, In this case a cdv of Peterborough Cathedral's nave  "1862"  with the initials of Blanchet Freres and Kleber P1050039.JPG of Rives, France. Is it mad to consider this a rarity? We Canadians are prone to leaping to the best conclusion? Many thanks from Montreal, Quebec,Canada.  p s doing exhibition on Mr Wilson here at Atwater Library on June 22, 2017.

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Hi Ed,

I have something similar from BW Bentley of Buxton, Derbyshire, England with an 1862 "watermark" that I have pondered on for years

Now I know what it's about, thank you. I had no idea what the initials were, but now I can make of the BFK & Co. This post of yours is hugely appreciated. I can't answer your question about its rarity, though. BW Bentley was a minor portrait photographer from Manchester and Buxton, who catered to the tourist trade, but produced few landscape CDVs.

Regards, Brett

Hello Brett -- I was stunned when I saw the watermark.  Even on the floor line of interior of the cathedral it seems a reject print for a reputable man like GWW, rather than a for sale product. Your Bentley is a portrait? If so, that is revelation of the economics of the business of photography -- make everything bring in revenue.

I hope to do a modest hand-out with my exhibition here. Please give me your address and I'll mail you a complimentary copy. Best, Ed.

Well, it pays off to hit all links -- I just saw your  Bentley BFK cdv. Commerce wins over artistry.

We have a number of images in The Centre's collection with watermarks, salt prints and albumen, but not a CDV we have always assumed it was because paper was not such a throw away commodity in those days.  Itinerate photographers would use every scrap but this wouldn't apply to GWW. Very interesting post, thank you. Angela Moor Conservation Administrator atThe CPC

Thanks for adding to the chain of information. May I please have your address to send you a complimentary copy of my modest hand-out about Mr Wilson?

The Centre for Photographic Conservation 233 Stanstead Road London SE23 1HU will be happy to add it to our library for students and researchers

Hi Edward, I don't have a lot of images by GWW but has certainly seen a fair share of British and Australian cartes and cabinet photos with watermarked paper and have a number of examples in my collection (over 40 000 photos) but couldn't easily place my hand on examples as I have don't have them specifically categorised or identified. Cheers! Marcel, Brisbane, Australia

Many thanks for this valuable information, Marcel. Forty Thousand! I'm stunned, as my old dad would have said about me.


Edward McCann said:

Many thanks for this valuable information, Marcel. Forty Thousand! I'm stunned, as my old dad would have said about me.


Marcel -- Days later ,I'm stilling thinking 40! How long has this been going on? Seriously, when I finish hand-out, my I please

have your address to send you a copy?

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