British photographic history

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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 date of 1860. Although Cundall could very well have been the photographer, I believe that the Cundall and Downes stamp is only an indication that they were the publishers.

Would anyone be able to help teach down who the actual photographer was?

Many thanks in advance,


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Comment by Richard Sullivan HonFRPS on July 14, 2016 at 4:09


Cundall and Downes was a publishing frm. I assume from other references such as  Cundall and Howlett, and Cundall and Fleming were also . I found about 25 references to Cundall in My Pilot Database. Cundall also appear frequently as the photographer and the firm's specialty appears to have been photographic reproductions of artwork. Cundall seems to be  he consistent reference in the pairings, so I am guessing that he is the photographer. The other partners are likely financial partners. Also the name Cundall is unusual enough that the searches don't get a thousand hits as would Downes or Fleming. Cundll appears to have been actie from around 1857 to 1868.

I can provide extracts of the search hits if necessary but only one references the South Kensington Museum and that does not appears to apply to the photo in question. My Database is a high speed indexed Regex searchable database of 8000+ 19th century and early 20th century photographic journals and books consisting of over 500,000 pages so far. The books and journals are also retrievable in the database itself. It's a project I've been working on for about 5 years now.

--Dick Sullivan

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