British photographic history

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Auction: Charles Darwin cartes / 8 November 2022

Nineteen carte-de-visite portraits of Charles Darwin are estimated to fetch £50,000-100,000 when they are offered at auction next week. The cartes are contained in an album was compiled by  Henrietta Emma Litchfield, the daughter of Darwin and is inscribed with her husbands name, R. B. Litchfield. 

The cartes include portraits by Maull & Polyblank, circa 1855, Elliott & Fry, O. G. Rejlander, circa 1871;and Julia Margaret Cameron, circa 1874,

Charles Darwin's profound interest in photography is well documented, he not only used photographs in his research, but also freely exchanged carte de visite portraits to friends and colleagues through letters. His friend the botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker termed Darwin’s exchange of photographic images as his 'carte correspondence'. This was an important tool for Darwin to cement his international scientific network, photographic portraiture was also fundamental to establishing Charles Darwin as a celebrity. He is believed to have sat for photographs on 18 separate occasions resulting in 32 different poses.

Two proceedings lots also containing albums of photographs of Darwin interest. 

Royalty, Fine Art & Antiques
9 November 2022
Reeman Dansie, lot 1072
See details here

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