British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

Alex Novak
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  • Chalfont, PA
  • United States
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Alex Novak's Discussions

Need Info on Dixon & Radge's

They were ambrotypists from York, UK at NO. 44, Skeldergate.  The image with full label information is in a French-style passé-partout.  Is this Henry Dixon?  Can you provide any information on this…Continue

Started Nov 15, 2017

Location/Photographer help?
5 Replies

I bought the following image and could use some help in IDing the location and possibly the photographer.Anonymous: Boats Stranded by Low Tide. Salt print, 8-1/16 x 10-1/8 in. (205 x 257 mm),…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Alex Novak Jul 4, 2022.

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Latest Activity

Alex Novak replied to Richard Sullivan HonFRPS's discussion The first person to make a fixable photograph
"I would have assumed that Talbot's photographic work predated this anyway since his mouse trap camera made images as early as 1835. And his 1834 experiments in Geneva from glass plates (Cliche Verre) produced at least photographic prints from…"
May 29
Alex Novak posted an event

The Photography Show at Center415

March 31, 2023 to April 2, 2023
The biggest photography show in the Western Hemisphere returns for a second year and 42nd edition at Center415 (located on Fifth Avenue between 37th and 38th streets) in New York City.Featuring 45 leading historical and fine art photography galleries from across the U.S. and around the world, including Europe, Asia, and South America.The fair will feature fresh-to-market and museum-quality photography including cutting-edge contemporary, modern, and exemplary 19th-century photographs, as well…See More
Mar 27
Alex Novak commented on Gael Newton's photo


"He looks very familiar, Gael. Now you are going to keep me up all night."
Jul 4, 2022
Alex Novak commented on Michael Pritchard's blog post Blue plaque unveiled in Durham to photographer Daisy Edis FRPS
"Any relationship to Sir Robert Edis and his family, many of whom, like Mary Olive Edis, were important to the field of photography?"
Jul 4, 2022
Alex Novak replied to Alex Novak's discussion Location/Photographer help?
"It would be great to identify the steamer, given that we know the location and approximate time. Anyone?  Lots of possibilities according to this Wikipedia article: ;."
Jul 4, 2022
Alex Novak replied to Alex Novak's discussion Location/Photographer help?
"Paddle steamers came in much earlier in the 1790s, and were ubiquitous in the mid-1800s. Given that this is a salt print, most probably from a wet-plate collodion glass plate negative, I suspect the image is from the mid to late 1850s or so.…"
Jul 4, 2022
Dr. Joe Rock replied to Alex Novak's discussion Location/Photographer help?
"Great to have such a positive identification. I would be surprised if this image had been taken by a professional photographer. The overlapping of the mast and the post on the left is a very simple error and could have been avoided without…"
Jul 4, 2022
David Kastoryano replied to Alex Novak's discussion Location/Photographer help?
"This is a view looking north across the Thames taken from the old boat station at Kew. The new Kew bridge - elevated section - can just be seen in the left hand corner on the far shore. There are three buildings used to identify the view. I have…"
Jun 17, 2022
Alex Novak commented on Michael Pritchard's blog post Auction: the Rossetti Family at home by Lewis Carroll
"It was a mediocre print, a so-so image and a very high price, when you consider adding on the 25% premium. It didn't surprise me that it didn't sell."
Dec 20, 2021
Alex Novak posted a blog post

Another 'fake' Indian?

I saw this lot (106) going up on 20 October at Newsbury, Berkshire: …See More
Oct 8, 2020
Alex Novak commented on Michael Pritchard's blog post Lacock Abbey has slavery link
"While I am not opposed to adding to our knowledge of history and having a good discussion on slavery and elements of racism/bias and how to lessen their impacts, I suspect that there are other political motives in trying to build such very tenuous…"
Oct 5, 2020
Alex Novak commented on Michael Pritchard's blog post Auction: A L Henderson experimental photographs / 13 October 2020
"The sizes on most of these are incredibly small.  I may be wrong, but I think that their estimate is a bit high, especially with the buyer's premium added in."
Oct 5, 2020
Alex Novak replied to Carys Ellen Fyson's discussion Identifying Daguerreotype
"The one on the left with the single man has an 1840s mat with an 1850s surround and case. It is hard to judge just from the jpeg as to what process it is. While it does appear to be an ambrotype more in keeping with late 1850s, I have seen some…"
Oct 5, 2020
Alex Novak replied to Manuel Magalhaes's discussion HUGH OWEN
"Thank you, Andrew, for that first and interesting reference. Wikipedia I give less credence to, considering it is riddled with major mistakes in photographer biographies and other areas, and their arrogant "editorial" approach, which does…"
Sep 18, 2020
Alex Novak replied to Manuel Magalhaes's discussion HUGH OWEN
Sep 18, 2020
Alex Novak joined Wolfbait Books's group

Nude photography in England from 1896 to 1960.

This group is for those interested in nude photography published in England during the first half of the 20th century from such photographers as: • Walter Bird • Joan Craven • John Everard • Stephen Glass • Zoltán Glass • George Harrison Marks • Horace Roye • Jean Straker • Bertram Park and Yvonne GregorySee More
Aug 17, 2020

Profile Information

About Me

I am one of the world's largest private photography dealers and am interested in all areas of photo history from early 19th-century to contemporary. In the 19th-century area, I have a particular interest in quality early paper, including salt prints and paper negatives. I have one of the largest and most diverse paper negative collections (and early glass negatives--prior to 1865--as well) in private hands.  Besides the 19th-century, my photographic interests extend to Between-the-Wars material and other 20th-century images, particularly European, to today's contemporary art photography market.

I am a member of AIPAD, the Daguerreian Society, and a founding member of the Getty Museum's Photography Council.

I also write the E-Photo Newsletter, which has the largest circulation of any publication devoted to Photography Collecting.

My websites include:

Alex Novak's Blog

Another 'fake' Indian?

I saw this lot (106) going up on 20 October at Newsbury, Berkshire: …


Posted on October 7, 2020 at 21:00

Daguerreotypes with dubious signatures, etc. appears on market

Group of Reportedly Altered Daguerreotypes with Dubious Signatures, etc. Appears on Market and Includes Daguerre, Le Gray, the Bisson Frerer and Th. Jacobi. This is an article from my E-Photo Newsletter on a group of reportedly fake signatures on actual 19th-century daguerreotypes. If you'd like to be included on our free email list for the newsletter, just comment, or email…


Posted on June 11, 2018 at 20:30

The 19th-century Photography Show / 22 October

You don't want to miss this spectacular event. The 19th-century Photography Show on Saturday, Oct. 22nd in NYC will have 100 top photo dealers from ten countries participating. It will be the world's largest show ever for 19th-century Photography with booths and table tops. It will be held on the entire 2nd floor of the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel near Penn Station on 8th Avenue at 34th Street from 9:15 am-4:15 am for the table top areas, and until 6 pm for the booth areas.

And the…


Posted on September 28, 2016 at 16:00

New E-Photo Newsletter, Issue 189, with News about Auction of Questionable 19th-Century Salt Print Negatives and Positives

Here's the latest Newsletter, which covers this controversion subject: .  Too much bad information has been circulating about this auction.  The newsletter has a lot of other important stories as well, which are noted below:


Posted on March 11, 2012 at 18:47

Comment Wall (8 comments)

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Join British photographic history

At 6:26 on October 30, 2017, Virginia Noonan said…

Hi Alex, Thanks for the invitation to join.

I have a strong interest in stereoviews and have just purchased a 19th century Stereoscope. Sawyers Viewmaster and cards. I am specifically interested in trying to locate British stereoviews especially from Devon England. My 3 times great grandfather William Merrifield was a very early photographer who lived in Tavistock England and took photos between 1855 and 1870. I have been given access to some of his photos, which are being reproduced in a book I am about to publish entitled From Devonto Australia: A 19th century narrative. However, I am keen to find at least one of his original photographs. William Merrifield, nearly always, had his name on the back of the photo W Merrifield Tavistock, and later he had his own stamp, which reads W. Merrifield: Photographer, Public Library Tavistock. On some of his photos appears the word 'Furze', I believe Furze was a person who had an agreement with William Merrifield to sell some of his images. At the time he sold his his images for 8d. each.

If you can assist in anyway or provide any thoughts re access to William's photos and the name Furze I would greatly appreciate it.



At 21:57 on March 20, 2017, Jose Calvelo said…

Thank you for your invitation, Alex !

A fellow (stereoviews) collector, Francis Dupin, told me several times I should try to get in touch with you, cause you were both extremely knowledgeable and friendly, but I suppose I was always too impressed by the extent and the quality of your collection to take the initiative. 


All the best


At 22:58 on May 20, 2012, Ken Hall said…

Hi Alex, thanks for the invitation. I've enjoyed your newsletter and am looking forward to spending more time on this excellent site. Best regards, Ken

At 20:22 on October 12, 2011, Caroline Fuchs said…

Hi Allex,

thanks for adding me. I read your e-newsletter with great interest.

All the best,


At 9:46 on September 18, 2011, Peter Klein said…

Hello Alex,  

I've just returned from a break to find your invitation, which I most gladly accept.  Do please let me know if I can be of any help - I am always fascinated to see what  is in other member's collections.  There is so much still to explore and discover.

Best regards, PK

At 22:02 on September 13, 2011, frans toes said…

hi alex,

thanks for adding me!


At 14:15 on September 12, 2011, Davena Hooson said…


Thanks for 'friending' me. I hope to see many beautiful and educational photographs on this site. So far mine will be family images, but I do need help with some of their content so I hope this is a good site for that! Watching your display I see some of Julia Margeret Cameron's work. How did you come by those?

At 8:56 on September 12, 2011, Dr Juliet Hacking said…
Hi Alex, good to be in touch. My new batch of students just started the course (which is now in its sixth year) and I am currently editing a book for Thames & Hudson called 'Photography: The Whole Story'. With a second baby due in December, life is a little fraught! Hope all is well with you. All best, Juliet

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