British photographic history

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Guernsey Court House 1859. Photographer?

I am astounded by the generosity and knowledge of members here. Thank You.  So here is a puzzle: a photograph of the interior of the Guernsey Court House, 1859. On the back is a typewritten description listing the names of all present, titled "Figure 9" with an ink inscription:  "photograph kindly lent by Wm. Ingham" I am assuming this was lent to be published, but can find no record of it.

Would anyone know who the photographer might be?

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Comment by David McGreevy on August 14, 2013 at 14:00

Ian, You hit the nail on the head! It indeed looks "plasticy" was searching for the right descriptive word.

Thanks! David

Comment by Ian Sumner on August 14, 2013 at 9:26

David, The Tower photo could be a varnished salt print, papers at this time were generally quite lightly albumenised. Hard to tell from the scan.Generally varnished prints look a bit 'plasticy'.

Best wishes, Ian

Comment by David McGreevy on August 13, 2013 at 16:37

Thank you Steven! 

Comment by Steven Evans on August 12, 2013 at 13:55

Hi David, A very useful description of the physical qualities of early paper prints can be found in the essay: The Transition of Photographic Printing in the 1850's; John McElhone, Conservator, National Gallery of Canada, published in the catalog 19th Century British Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada, 2011. You can find the catalog here: http://www.amazon.com/19th-Century-British-Photographs-National-Gal...

Comment by David McGreevy on August 11, 2013 at 22:35

Dear Ian,

Thank you for the information. Mansell makes sense, I never noticed the name on the list and didn't make the connection. Will do further research...

As for the Tower Mold photo, very interesting, it sure looks like an albumen print to me, slightly shiny and a bit pebbly. Is there a way to tell the difference between a varnished salt print and an early albumen?

Thanks again,

Best wishes, 

David McGreevy

Comment by Ian Sumner on August 11, 2013 at 9:53

Dear David,

re your photograph of Court House. The photographer may well be Thomas Lukis Mansell (1809-79). he was a jurat of Guernsey's Royal court and I see there is a another Mansell in the photo.

Info about Mansell in Amateur Photographers and the Mid Victorian Imagination. Grace Seiberling. George Eastman House pub. 1986.

re your photo of the Tower in Mold. It's hard to tell from the scan but it looks like a salt print and it could be from a paper negative. It was quite unusual to use wet collodion on a freezing day in Jan 1856 (looks like ice on the lake) and paper would have been easier.

Best wishes


Ian Sumner

Comment by Michael Pritchard on August 11, 2013 at 8:43

Gareth Syvret who is a BPH member is working on a history of Channel Islands photography and may be able to assist. 

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