British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

David McGreevy's Blog (49)

Research: John Dawson Watson albumen photos.

Hello, I am seeking any information about these two albumen photos. From my research, I believe that they are private photos of John Dawson Watson, RWS, in his April,1871 amateur production of Twelfth Night, at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

Watson was photographed by David Wilkie Wynfield, in ancient costume.

Apparently, he created all of the costumes for this…


Added by David McGreevy on July 29, 2017 at 22:30 — 2 Comments

Research: A Hill and Adamson connection?

Hello, I am seeking any information about these 3 Scottish photos,  The seller states that they "came with a group of later prints from original negatives by Hill and Adamson".

I assume those came from Thomas Annan.

Does anyone recognize these fine people?

Many thanks, David…


Added by David McGreevy on July 18, 2017 at 20:30 — No Comments

London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company, The Tattoo

I have finally pulled the trigger, and gotten my first tattoo. This logo has been a favorite of mine for years, Finally found the tattoo artist who could handle the details. I think that photographer's CDV back marks are so intrinsically related to early sailor tattoos,  Happy with mine.…


Added by David McGreevy on May 1, 2017 at 0:00 — 1 Comment

Research: Royal Navy photographs

Hello, I am researching these photos of the Officers and Crew of a Royal Navy ship. The seller says they are from the 1850s, but I believe that these are more 1870s, or later, The two are unmounted albumen prints, approximately 9 x 6 ".

The photo of the crew is amazing, each seaman is armed with a pistol, and maybe a sword? At first I thought that this must be a…


Added by David McGreevy on April 11, 2017 at 0:30 — 1 Comment

Research: Strange Image of the planet Mars, Royal Observatory

This is a real puzzle. a 10 x 10 inch silver print of an early illustration of Mars. At the bottom,  "H. Spencer Jones". He was the British Royal Astronomer from 1933-1955 at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich.  

I have no Idea why his name would be printed below a clearly earlier illustration of Mars. My Idea is that because this is a square image, it may be a copy of…


Added by David McGreevy on March 15, 2017 at 20:30 — 3 Comments

Research: Dr John Lee FRS, FRAS astronomer, Hartwell House, unrecorded ambrotypes?

I am researching these two ambrotypes, recently acquired through eBay. They appear to be images of John Lee, Astronomer, Numismatist, 1858 and 1861, antiquarian, philosopher, et al. of Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire.

I can only find one actual photographic image of Dr. Lee, an apparent albumen, via the Science Photo Library…


Added by David McGreevy on January 21, 2017 at 22:00 — 3 Comments

Research; Ambrotype signature

I am seeking information about this quarter-plate ambrotype of a young lad. There appears to be an etched signature above his left arm. Constant? 

Although this was bought in the UK, I suppose it might be French.

Does anyone recognize this signature?

Many thanks,

David McGreevy…


Added by David McGreevy on January 7, 2017 at 10:00 — 7 Comments

Research; Julia Margaret Cameron's Idylls of the King, A question about Enid.

I have a question about this albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron from her illustrations of Tennyson's Idyll of the King. Many years ago, I was offered my pick of several illustrations from the Idylls, I chose this image, "And Enid Sang", as I felt that it was a beautiful stand-alone image, it was in the best shape, and I thought that it was a great example of Cameron's…


Added by David McGreevy on November 1, 2016 at 23:00 — No Comments

Research: Fantastic 1860s portrait, Who is the sitter?

Hi, I am researching this 1860s British albumen print, It's a 6.5 x 8 inch portrait, with an irregularly cut arched top. I think the narrow field of view is just masterly. Would anyone know the sitter?

Many thanks in advance,


Added by David McGreevy on September 27, 2016 at 22:00 — No Comments

Research: South Kensington Museum Albumen photo

Greetings. I am looking for information about this albumen photo, a student art room at the South Kensington Museum, which became part of the V&A. It has a Letterpress description, and the blindstamps of both the museum (Loan), and of the photographers Cundall and Downes.

The V&A has an exact copy, and the photographer is listed as Cundall and Downes, with a…


Added by David McGreevy on July 12, 2016 at 0:30 — 11 Comments

Research: British or French Nude albumen photo

I am asking members here for help in identifying this nude albumen photo. 20 x 16.5 cm oval print laid onto stiff card, with an ink inscription lower right: Octavie.

This came from a British album recently purchased in Derbyshire, containing hundreds of erotic albumen prints of paintings and sculptures, all female nudes. This was the only "from life' print, save for…


Added by David McGreevy on June 14, 2016 at 22:30 — 6 Comments

Identification: Notre Dame - A French Mammoth plate mystery

I am looking for any expert opinions on who may have created this mammoth plate albumen photograph of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. My apologies for posting about a French photo, but I feel that, given the expertise of the members here, this is my best chance of finding an answer

This is an albumen photograph, mammoth plate, 18 x 22 inches. (46 x 66 CM) . it is…


Added by David McGreevy on April 18, 2016 at 23:00 — 5 Comments

Research: Egypt albumen, Photographer's monogram

Hello, I am researching this albumen print of - possibly  Karnak or the Temple of Mediate Habu. (Correct me if I am mistaken). What interests me is the photographer's monogram, lower left.  At one point, I was thinking it may be Frank Mason Good, but would appreciate some expert opinions.

Has anyone seen this monogram before?

Many thanks, 



Added by David McGreevy on April 3, 2016 at 22:00 — 4 Comments

Identification: Maull & Polyblank portrait

Hello. Please help me identify this pleasant elderly gentleman, albumen print by Maull and Polyblank.

Thanks, David…


Added by David McGreevy on March 5, 2016 at 22:30 — 5 Comments

Research: Victoria Coal and wood?

Hello. I am searching for information about this albumen photo. Does anyone recognize the location of this photo? It is a large albumen print, appears to be a coal station? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Best, David…


Added by David McGreevy on March 5, 2016 at 22:00 — 6 Comments

Research: Curious Crimean War? Soldiers

Hello,I am looking for information on this albumen photo. I assume it is British, and also assume that these are 1850-1860 era uniforms.

A most curious photo: The gentleman seated on the cobblestones is wearing a fur hat, a paisley robe, and holding a dog! This group looks like it is about to hatch a crime spree. There is also the number 5 in the window???



Added by David McGreevy on February 9, 2016 at 22:30 — 4 Comments

London Stereoscopic Company CDV back mark- an odd

Hello, I have an odd request. I am considering getting a tattoo of the London Stereoscopic company CDV back mark. I have been obsessed with this graphic for some time, but don't have a decent copy of it, and the images I can find online are of poor quality.

I was wondering if any members here could provide me with a high resolution scan or image of this back…


Added by David McGreevy on January 6, 2016 at 21:00 — 3 Comments

Research: Early images of the Rosetta Stone

I am looking for information about an early image of the Rosetta Stone. Here is an albumen print by Mansell & Co., presumably from the 1870's. However it is not an image of the stone itself, but some sort of graphic image- a lithograph, a rubbing?  I know that such images were made as early as 1800, but can find no information about this particular graphic  Is it still in…


Added by David McGreevy on December 21, 2015 at 22:00 — 3 Comments

Research; A Cameron Mystery

Hello, I am hoping that someone here can shed light on this Julia Margaret Cameron cabinet card , recently acquired.

Beautiful image,

I am trying to identify the sitter and the date. Apparently sold at Swann Galleries, May, 2015, identified as an unknown woman, (possibly Annie Chinery-Cameron), JMC's daughter-in-law.

It does not appear in any size in…


Added by David McGreevy on September 20, 2015 at 22:30 — 2 Comments

Research: Mourning photo.

Hello, I was hoping someone here can help me identify or understand this recently acquired albumen photo.I believe it is British, and shows a man, a dog, and a dead bird. Can't really tell what's going on here...Was the bird a pet-parrot perhaps? did the dog kill it? or is this a hunting photo?

Is the man wearing a clerical collar? Is that a fluffy cat by his…


Added by David McGreevy on July 31, 2015 at 18:00 — 14 Comments

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