British photographic history
Great Bardfield, Essex
Martin John Last
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Dear Ken, The www is quite wonderful, "it's wonders to perform"! I have only just received your note re: Ernst Lacan and Talbot ! Yes it would be of interesting to pin him down. So far I am only up to 1838. It is hard to resist the temptation to jump through to the photographic and photomechanical phases. M
Many thanks for the offer Ken, and I will certainly take you up on it though I am nowhere near Essex.
Hi Ken, thank you for your observations and questions too. The British Library Stereoscopic Magazine books are fascinating as all were produced posthumously, and many of Howlett's Rouen images appear credited with his name. There are further Rouen images which are assumed to be by Howlett despite no direct reference. It is not clear how his images came to be used after his death but I suspect Roger Fenton may have encouraged their use, though I have no proof.
I have only seen one of the non stereoscopic images in the collection of Norfolk Records Office but there were some in the Photographic Society exhibition of 1859 (again exhibited one month after his death), reviewed separately from the stereoscopic exhibits, so they must be somewhere! Your Great Eastern question is interesting and all I can say is that I have only seen the Brunel chains portrait as a LSC image in full and cropped versions as a carte de visite and many LSC stereos of the Great Eastern post Howlett's death. I have not had the pleasure of viewing many of his images in person and sometimes these are blind stamped Photographic Institution, the only Robert Howlett blind stamp I have seen is on a Great Eastern image in the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection. There were advertisements for the "Leviathan" photographs in Notes and Queries in early 1858 with large views priced at 7s 6d with smaller images at 5s each. In these advertisements it is interesting to note that Mr Brunel and Captain Harrison are mentioned by name, but not John Scott Russell. There was a portrait of Scott Russell by Howlett which appeared in the Illustrated Times 24 page special edition "Leviathan Number" but I have not seen it elsewhere.
I hope this is of some help! Rose
Great Bardfield, Essex
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