British photographic history

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Auction: A L Henderson experimental photographs / 13 October 2020

Hansons auctioneers in Staffordshire is offering a lot from a descendent of the important photographer Arthur Lamont Henderson relating his his royalty photographers. Estimated at £15,000-25,000 the lots consists of royal portraits and other examples of his photographic work. The auction takes place on 13 October 2020. 


The lot description is below: 

Alexander Lamont Henderson (British, 1838-1907), experimental photographer and member of the Royal Photographic Society. In 1884, Queen Victoria awarded Henderson with a Royal Warrant, which allowed him to depict moments from the everyday life of the royal family. Victoria commissioned a number of enamels to be made from earlier plates, which included Prince Albert and John Brown (some of Henderson's enamels can be found in the Royal Collection Trust). It is believed that a number of miniatures were donated for display in Queen Mary's Dolls' House at Windsor. Henderson's commercial work was donated to the library of the London Guildhall Museum in 1907 but destroyed in the Blitz during WW2. A selection of his royal work was donated to the V&A museum, and a considerable number of his slides were rescued by Mr. F. C. Guilmant of Southampton and provided the basis of an exhibition of his work at Brighton Polytechnic in 1987. His work is naturally scarce, highlighting the importance of this archive

Photographic archive, comprising: 69 oval enamel miniature photographic portraits, 1870s, including Queen Victoria; Prince Albert; John Brown (Scottish personal attendant of Queen Victoria); Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII); Alexandra of Denmark; Prince Leopold; Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia; Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse, and various non-royal portraits, in varying sizes from 14mm by 10mm (smallest) to 8cm by 6.5cm (largest), many inscribed with titles in ink on reverse, some of the more important royal portraits in gilt metal frames or mounts, to include an oval enamel photograph of the moon with title, 'The Moon, from an original negative taken by Messrs. Grubb's great Melbourne Telescope', 10cm by 13cm; a gilt framed set of 11 enamel photographic portraits depicting the Henderson family (including three of Alexander Lamont Henderson); several non-enamel photographic miniature portraits, including two in lockets and one in mirror; 23 square lantern slides depicting scenes in Grasse, French Riviera, including an interior view of Queen Victoria's drawing room in the Grand Hotel, housed in card case; 31 square lantern slides depicting topographical views and people in Nice, French Riviera, including one of Tilling's Private Omnibus (with passengers), housed in card case; 22 wide angle glass slides depicting scenes in Grasse, including architecture and people, housed in wooden case; 25 wide angle glass slides depicting landscapes and harbour scenes, housed in wooden case; 43 square lantern slides depicting miscellaneous family portraits, housed in card case; five loose glass slides (four square, one wide angle), including a view of Queen Victoria's sitting room in Grand Hotel, Grasse; a mahogany stereo viewer, and an early-19th century watercolour miniature of a lady (framed with lock of hair verso)

Provenance: By descent. Vendor's great-great grandfather was Alexander Lamont Henderson

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Comment by Michael Pritchard on October 5, 2020 at 22:18

Yes, it seems a very punchy estimate... starting price is £9k and even that seems pretty strong

Comment by Alex Novak on October 5, 2020 at 18:42

The sizes on most of these are incredibly small.  I may be wrong, but I think that their estimate is a bit high, especially with the buyer's premium added in.

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