British photographic history

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Hi I've just come across some stereoviews and I've got one which seems to date from around the 1840s and looks to be in the Talbotype style its a very early image and the card mount has a blind stamp of PM and i think the wording on the back reads View From the Fosbury Hill Reading i am trying to work out who took the photo but can't work out who PM is i an hoping someone could help me  

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I see these PM views once in a while. I am sure they are not related to the French PM stereoview photographer. But I have sometimes wondered whether it is Philip de la Motte (1821-89), a known calotypist. The embossed dimples and letters PM do not vary between stereoviews so he must have used a single large blindstamp.

Thankyou Chris thats a starting point

Hi Scott.  An interesting view from Forbury Hill, looking across the formally laid out Forbury Gardens towards the prison building, completed in July 1844.  Here the gaol does look well established, so perhaps this view might date from the early to mid 1850s?  On these mounts the PM blind stamp I have always assumed to be the imprint of the (presumably French) manufacturer of the mount, as it is always perfectly centered between the beading around the images, and seems to be part of the overall design.  The photographer therefore might well have been a Reading one, and the clear prime candidate is Samuel Poulton, who had taken over his late brother's fledgling photographic business by November 1854.  Still unknown is whether Cornelius had inspired Samuel with an enthusiasm for stereoviews, or had even experimented with them before his early death in July 1854, but might this possibly be one?  Pure speculation, of course!

Thankyou Peter

Hi,

I am afraid PM has nothing to do with Philippe Delamotte. It stands for Papeterie Marion. A. Marion and Co. were French stationers who had premises in Paris, city Bergère, and in London, Regent Street. They specialised in anything photographic and sold lots of stereos before becoming the biggest publishers of cartes-de-visite in Britain. The photographer could be anybody as A. Marion was a publisher more than a photographer.

Denis

Bonjour Denis,

Thank you for that very useful piece of information.  I know that Auguste Marion became a specialist supplier of luxury writing paper in 1830, later with a factory at Courbevoie, and they exhibited their range of papers and card in the 1862 Exhibition.  In England they were selling "Photographic Mounts" "of the finest finish and best materials" from their warehouse premises at 22 & 23 Soho Square, London, so these mounts may well indeed have come from there.

PK

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