British photographic history

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Exhibition of G W Wilson carte-de-visite views, 1862-1900.

New research based on a view of 'Roslyn Chapel --- The Apprentice's Pillar' confirms Mr Wilson introduced CDV views before late 1868. The printed caption appears on the recto and the seller's label, 'William Smith, 43 Lord Street, Liverpool' on the verso.

In 1862, the British Journal of Photography suggested to readers, they buy from Mr. Smith at 43 Lord street cartes of American personalities, published by Anthony of NYC, to support a Lancashire charity. Gore's Liverpool Directory of 1867 no longer listed Mr.Smith at that address.

From a selection of 12 hand-captioned CDVs, one of "Peterborough Cathedral" is printed on watermarked paper dated '1862'. Dr. Blair in his 2020 update of a listing of GWW's stereoscopic views notes this script is in Mr. Wilson's own hand.

Mr. Wilson's ambition has led to confusion. Coincidental to his 1863 list 'Stereoscopic and Album Views' he created a print from half of a stereo neg, he called an 'Album'. [later called 'scraps'] Mounted cards are very uncommon today on the dealers and collector's market. I believe his '... Album Views' are CDVs and follow an evolution easily traced.

The exhibition 'Mr. Wilson's Album Views' is a follow-up to 2017's 'The Artist Mr. Wilson' hosted at the same venue, The Atwater Library, 1200 Atwater Avenue, Westmount, Quebec, Canada from September 17 to December 10, 2020. See:

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Comment by Edward McCann on September 21, 2020 at 15:29

 Thanks Paul -- a UK dealer in his four decades of collecting, only remembers having one example of GWWs 'album' format 3x4 inch on a printed board mount.  For auction, it was described as a large CDV.

Comment by Paul Godfrey on September 20, 2020 at 15:51

In the Yarmouth Independent of 22nd August 1863, the Great Yarmouth letterpress printer and stationer George Nall advertised his “NALL’S SERIES OF Stereoscopic Views of Yarmouth, 46 sorts, 1s. Each or 10s per Dozen. These have not been equalled for beauty or finish. SOLD ONLY AT Nall’s Library, 182, King-St, Yarmouth.” Later that year in the Yarmouth columns of the Norfolk Chronicle dated Saturday 31st October 1863, George Nall was advertising “NALL'S SIXPENNY ALBUM VIEWS OF YARMOUTH. PHOTOGRAPHED BY SEDGFIELD. Nearly 40 sorts. To be had only at Nall's Library. Great Yarmouth.” 

This initial batch of 40+ stereoviews were taken by William Russell Sedgfield in 1860 for George Nall who had the upper floors of his Great Yarmouth bookshop adapted to print and mount the photographs. The term “Album Views” seems to suggest a different size or format to a Carte de Visite but examples of Nall’s views, that I haveI found, are all CDVs measuring four by two and a half inches. Just like George Washington Wilson’s “Album Views” George Nall’s  “Sixpenny Album Views” were made from one negative of a stereoscopic pair and these days they are hard to find by comparison with the stereoviews. 

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