British photographic history

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Information request: H.M & S, photographer

A BPH correspondent has been trying to find a reference to a photographer whose glass negatives were found in a friend's loft. The negs are all apparently marked 'H.M. & S.' and appear to date from the late 1890s or early 1900s. Does anyone recognise the initials?

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Comment by Bobbie Carnegie on November 15, 2020 at 16:28

Anne: You have posted the same comment twice :-) 

Comment by Anne Strathie on November 15, 2020 at 16:18

And here's a postcard with exactly the same distinctive writing - does the correspondent perhaps have the negative of this one? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Brook-Green-Hammersmith-728-by-H-M-S-L/3...

Comment by Anne Strathie on November 14, 2020 at 20:54

History of Valentine's from St Andrews University Special Collections, including references to their collotype business https://collections.st-andrews.ac.uk/media/164040/164040.pdf - sadly no reference to names or initials of photographers, but they must have used a lot. Their collection includes the London images in the album, which were also sold separately as 8 x 6 images in packs.

Comment by Anne Strathie on November 14, 2020 at 16:53

That's what I assumed and meant, sorry if it wasn't clear - I just meant that it couldn't be checked for on the album, even it was the case for the pcs.

Comment by Bobbie Carnegie on November 14, 2020 at 16:49

Anne: I referred 'smudging' to the 'collotype' views you drew our attention to that had plain backs that no usual postcard or postage stamp indicated space printed on the reverse. 

Comment by Anne Strathie on November 14, 2020 at 16:25

Bobbie: I'm assuming they came in a pack marked 'collotype' (perhaps the vendor can tell you). The album describes them as 'Collotype Views', published by HM&S and printed by Valentine - there's images on both sides of the pages, so no sign of the smudging you mention in the pcs. I'm no expert, but can't see why, if Valentine specialised in collotypes, they would mis-label the book or the pcs - but the latter may be a hybrid of some kind as you suggest.

Comment by Bobbie Carnegie on November 14, 2020 at 15:42

Anne: And again being labelled 'collotype' could be misleading if, as they look, they are also photogravure prints and not actual collotype photographs. Verso of some of the prints shows signs of print smudging of a nature when multi-printing has papers sliding through a mechanical print process. Just my view anyway.     

Comment by Anne Strathie on November 14, 2020 at 14:39

The collotype alburm from Germany has images of the main London sights, several of which correspond with collotype/graph postcards on e-bay.co.uk of London Bridge, Tower of London and Piccadilly https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2047675.m5... (part way down the page). The fact that they don't have the usual line and stamp information suggests they may have been sold in a pack (like ones further up the page) as 'views' rather than for posting.

Comment by Anne Strathie on November 10, 2020 at 15:52

I've also put in an enquiry to the the St Andrews University special collections, which have an extensive collection on Valentines.

Comment by Rob Whalley on November 10, 2020 at 15:07

Hi, I've forwarded a link to this piece to Michael Goldsmith, the new editor of the magazine Picture Postcard Collecting (formerly "Picture Postcard Monthly"). Given the quality of the image there must be some collectors / dealers with information about this London photographer / postcard publisher.

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