British photographic history

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Auction: B B Turner portrait at auction (UPDATED)

An oil portrait of Benjamin Brecknell Turner is being offered by a British seller on eBay. The auction closes on 28 July. According to the auction entry Turner was was one of Britain's first photographers and a founding member in 1853 of the Photographic Society of London. 

See the auction entry here:

UPDATE: The painting sold for £310

Born in London, Turner was the eldest son in a family of eight children. The family lived above the family tallow-chandlers business where candles and saddle-soaps were made and sold. At sixteen Benjamin became an apprentice to his father, he joined the Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers in 1837 and became a Freeman of the City of London in 1838. On 17 August 1847, he married Agnes Chamberlain, a member of the Worcester China family.

In 1849 Turner took out a licence to practice paper negative (Calotype or Talbotype) photography from its inventor, William Henry Fox Talbot. He quickly mastered this form of photography and went on to produce many images during the 1850s, taking part in many photographic exhibitions during this time. He joined the Photographic Society, later the Royal Photographic Society, and was recorded as a member from 1854, although it is likely he joined in 1853 and remained a member until at least 1893, albeit with a break in membership between c.1871, rejoining in 1883. Brecknell's personal album from The Photographic Club, a grouping of members of the Photographic Society is held in the Royal Photographic Society Collection at the National Media Museum

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Comment by Terence Pepper on September 14, 2013 at 15:07

This is very good news to hear of the new owner great that its in good and appropriate hands

Comment by Michael Pritchard on September 13, 2013 at 9:29

That's good to hear. A museum was underbidding it but it is good to know that it has gone to a good home. 

Comment by Robert Baldwin Robertson on September 13, 2013 at 8:51

The portrait was bought by Robert Baldwin Robertson.  BB Turner was my Gt Gt Grand Father and the Artist was my Gt Grandfather , BBT's son in law, Henry Robert Robertson

Robert Robertson Sept. 2013 

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