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Auction: Lewis Carroll photograph of Aubrey de Vere (1862)

A FINE AND RARE PHOTOGRAPH OF IRISH POET AUBREY THOMAS DE VERE (1814-1902), who was brother in law to Sir Henry Taylor (1800-1886). Carroll had been seeking an opportunity to photograph Taylor since July 1862, and when he was invited to lunch on 3 September, he "found Mr. Taylor walking in the garden with Mr Aubrey de Vere, another poet... Settled to take over my camera on Friday." (Lewis Carroll's Dairies (1997), vol. 4, p.125).

That Friday, Carroll recorded in his diary: "about 10 went in a fly to the Taylors', and photographed until nearly 5. Took Mr Taylor himself, Mr de Vere, Aubrey, Ida and Una. As there was not time for all, I left the camera there" (ibid, p.126). The resulting photographs of de Vere and Taylor are held in the collections of Princeton University. The portrait of de Vere is identical to the one at Princeton (Album II), however the print present here is slightly larger than Princeton's and reveals a little more of the subject along the lower edge.

De Vere was also photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron, a friend of Sir Henry Taylor, who used him frequently as a model; presumably it was Taylor who acted again as the link between photographer and subject.

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Image: ALBUMEN PRINT (176 x 150mm.), the poet shown in profile seated in a chair, numbered "12Q" in the negative, 5 September 1862, East Sheen, London [Carroll image number 880]

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