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12232562664?profile=RESIZE_400xSound & Vision brings together works that use photography as a vehicle for creative collaboration. The sale begins with ‘Sound’ - Lots 1- 43 reveal the relationships between musicians and photographers on stage and in the studio, including Philip Townsend’s (1940-2016) iconic photographs of the Rolling Stones, views of the young Beatles by Terry O’Neill (1938-2019) and Michael Ward (1929-2011) and a selection of portraits of David Bowie in his various guises.

Lots 44-166 showcase the photographers’ vision beyond the darkroom and into the world of layout: the photobook. Featuring an array of rare, collectable, and signed titles, we are please to present a selection from the personal library of Magnum photographer Chris Steele-Perkins (b.1947), including rare, signed copies of books by fellow Magnum colleagues – Henri Cartier-Bresson, Abbas, Harry Gruyaert, Martin Parr, and many others, along with Steele-Perkins’ personal signed copy of Chris Killip’s sought-after first edition of In Flagrante (1988).

Also included in this section of the sale, Lots 84-93 present a selection of incredibly rare and significant titles in the history of the Chinese photobook. From a private London collection, compiled with a focus on visual texts that demonstrate the evolution of photography’s role in the People’s Republic and the Cultural Revolution, this is a unique opportunity to acquire works cited by Martin Parr and WassinkLundgren in their seminal text The Chinese Photobook: From the 1900s to the Present (2015).

Details here:

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Resource and advice: Mandalay photographs, 1860s

12232563288?profile=RESIZE_400xI am a freelance author in Toronto, Canada, currently concluding a biography of Dr. Clement Williams, an army surgeon, British agent, and trader in Mandalay, Burma, from 1861 to 1879. A few years ago the Royal Ontario Museum received 2 donations of photographs (some copies of holdings in the Museum of Anthropology in Cambridge, UK) that I have established were taken by Dr. Williams in the early 1860s, making them (I believe) the earliest images of Mandalay. He also took a series of portraits of court officials, including important figures in Burmese history never before seen.

I know that John McCosh, Benjamin Simpson, and John Murray (all doctors, as well) took portraits of British officials and tribespeople in India, Burma, and Bhutan before 1860, but I can't find any samples of courtiers at that time - which, if true, would make Williams's pictures even more interesting.

We've put the entire series on the ROM's website -"Clement Williams"/objects/images - for general viewing. Basically I'm looking for advice about the significance of these photographs and their place in early imperial photography

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Nice Find: Lunds Photograph Forceps

12237960472?profile=RESIZE_400xHave just found a "Lunds Photographic Forceps" at a Camera Fair. The seller kept on telling people it was a "Glass Plate Lifter". I knew full well that it was USD for putting CDV's (and other sizes) in or out of Photographic albums. I hear that one went to auctions in London some time ago, though when and how much I don't know.

My question is, anyone else have them.? how common are they.?

Regards, Sandy Barrie.12232226298?profile=RESIZE_710x

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In passing: Stephen Herbert (1951-2023)

12231263101?profile=RESIZE_400xBPH has just learnt of the passing of Stephen Herbert, an important historian of the motion picture, pre-cinema and photographic technology. Through his position at the BFI and Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI), and with his own imprint The Projection Box which he and his parner Mo Heard set up in 1994 Stephen undertook significant work in presenting new research and making moving picture technology accessible.

For many years he was the Magic Lantern Society's Research Officer and the driving force behind a series of publications, in collaboration with others, and usually published alongside the Society's convention. They remain important reference books. His Who's Who of Victorian Cinema ( print (1996) and online, with Luke McKernam) similarly was well-researched and filled a significant gap in knowledge. 

Stephen was a consultant to the Dubai museum of the moving image, and worked for the Qatar Museums Authority when it was considering setting up a media museum. He was also an advisor to Kingston Museums for its Eadweard Muybridge collections.  

His online websites, publications and articles and papers will remain an enduring legacy. he also worked closes with the late Gordon Trewinnard and the milestones in cinema history project was created replicas of key milestone cinemographic cameras from the first years of cinema. 

See a BPH note on The Projection Box
Stephen's personal website is here
An obituary written Luke McKernan appeared in The Guardian on 22 September. 
The Optilogue

A short bibliography and biographical details are here:

Photo: Mo Heard, from The Optilogue

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George Eastmans Partner - William Hall Walker

12230039861?profile=RESIZE_400xThis is a found UK wet plate collodion. It is a beach momento and like all such photgraphs an informal - for the time - snapshot in time. This is a fine example of 1880's black tent and wet chemical beach photography. It is the photographic technology of the 1850's at it's very best. Walker can be seen relaxing with his wife on the beach at Eastbourne.

Behind him on the horizon can be glimpsed the circular enclosure for Beach Concert Party performances. This part of the beach is now under the Carpet Gardens which is along the promenade and quite near to the pier. The camera is facing east. The image is well defined with sharp deep focus, is well lit and zooms with precision. This is not a copy, this is the original HD scan.


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12229759486?profile=RESIZE_400xUniversity of the Arts London (UAL) is seeking to appoint a highly motivated Postdoctoral Research Fellow (PDRF) to work on a research project entitled ‘Cold War and ‘Other’ Narratives’, led by Principal Investigator Professor Mark Sealy in collaboration with IWM (Imperial War Museums) London.

This fellowship will pave the way to grow an ambitious and impactful programme of joint research and knowledge exchange activity between the college and the museum.

The critical research tasks are to investigate and examine through the archives of the IWM, the diverse or buried stories that have impacted independence movements throughout the West’s colonial territories. Using the Cold War as a dominant narrative, the research process aims to perform forensic work on the ideological perspectives that influenced and shaped the majority world’s move to independence. In understanding our contemporary global political climate, we must continuously examine how East/West relationships post-Second World War concerning the pre-post-colonial eras have shaped our world, and critically investigate how images produced within the context of Cold War politics have framed and shaped the making of Allies and constructed ‘Others’. The project aims to present a different or alternative visual framework to create a new understanding concerning processes of liberation across the colonised world, and how images have been articulated, framed and put to work in cultures that have aided the construction of a dominant narrative concerning post-colonial political formations.

Details and applications:

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12229288675?profile=RESIZE_400xThe Franklin expedition portraits reported on here several weeks ago have sold for £350,000 (£444,500 including premium, exceeding the upper estimate. There's no news regarding the buyer and the lot will be subject to an export licence should the purchaser choose to export it. 

Details of the lot and illustrations are here:


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12228637463?profile=RESIZE_400xThe National Science and Media Museum, Bradford, has acquired a large collection of magic lantern slides, formerly part of the lending library of the Riley Brothers of Bradford. The slides were formerly owned by John Jones, a collector and historian of the magic lantern who died in 2010. 

The collection features images of local people and cityscapes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, telling a rich visual story of Bradford’s heritage. Comprising of 182 magic lantern sets with over 2600 individual slides, the images were produced by posing models, either volunteers or the photographer’s family and friends, alongside props or in real-life landscapes to tell a visual story.  

The images show locations from around Bradford including the former banking hall on Hustlergate. Some of exterior images are difficult to identify, and members of the public are encouraged to get in touch with the museum if they recognise any locations.  

The Riley Brothers established their own magic lantern business in Bradford on Godwin Street, selling slides and equipment while manufacturing their own magic lanterns.     

12228638093?profile=RESIZE_400xThe newly acquired collection is now being documented, photographed, treated, rehoused, and stored by the museum to add to its extensive collection of magic lanterns and magic lantern slides. The museum also holds the vast Kodak Collection, that includes the Riley ‘Kineoptoscope’ projector which converted magic lanterns into motion picture projectors, bringing movies to the theatres of Bradford.  

Commenting on the new acquisition, Vanessa Torres, Conservator at the National Science and Media Museum said: “Our collections are constantly growing, and new acquisitions can take on many different shapes and sizes. When we acquired this large collection of magic lantern slides, it was a truly a cross-department effort to document, conserve, and digitise the objects to ensure that these fascinating images can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone.”  

To learn more about the process of bringing the new acquisition into the museum’s collection, visit:  


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12227614255?profile=RESIZE_400xConsidered one of the most important photo historians of the 20th century, Peter E. Palmquist (1936 - 2003) had a keen interest in the photography of the American West, California, and Humboldt County before 1950, and the history of women in photography worldwide. He published over 60 books and 340 articles and was a strong proponent of the concept of the independent researcher-writer in the field of photohistory. With co-author Thomas Kailbourn, he won the Caroline Bancroft Western History Prize for their book, Pioneer Photographers of the Far West
Professor Martha Sandweiss, Princeton University, wrote, “He (Peter) established new ways of pursuing the history of photography, and with his collections and research notes soon to be accessible at Yale, he will be speaking to and inspiring new generations of students and researchers forever.”  Established by Peter’s lifetime companion, Pam Mendelsohn, this fund supports the study of under-researched women photographers internationally, past and present, and under-researched Western American photographers through the Great Depression. 

A small panel of outside consultants with professional expertise in the field of photohistory and/or grant reviewing will review the applications in order to determine the awards. Applications will be judged on the quality of the proposal, the ability of the applicant to carry out the project within the proposed budget and timeline, and the significance of the project to the field of photographic history. Past recipients and their projects are featured at

Peter E. Palmquist Memorial Fund for Historical Photographic Research
Range of Awards: $500 - $2,000
Funds must be used for research; grant funding may not be used to cover salaries, pay for hardware or equipment, or for production costs such as printing and book binding, podcasts, blogs, etc. 
October 31, 2023 is the deadline for submissions. Grant Recipients will be announced in mid-January 2024. 

If selected, Recipients will be required to submit a copy of their work to HAF+WRCF.

Individuals and nonprofit institutions conducting research in either of the fields below are eligible to apply: 
  • Under-researched women photographers internationally, past and present.
  • Under-researched Western American photographers through the Great Depression.
To submit an application please go to Humboldt Area Foundation link.
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12225438261?profile=RESIZE_400x10×10 Photobooks has announced a new grant cycle and call for applications as part of its annual photobook research grants program to encourage and support scholarship on under-explored topics in photobook history. The program began in 2021 and the first two cycles focused on research connected with 10×10’s project What They Saw: Historical Photobooks by Women, 1843-1999. For this round, we are inviting proposals on any topic or geography connected with the history of the photobook. Note that these grants are NOT for the making of a photobook.

10×10’s photobook research grant application is now open through Friday, 27 October 2023 and accepts submissions related to research and scholarship that seeks to fill gaps and supply missing information in the history of the photobook from any period. The concept of the photobook is interpreted in the broadest sense possible: classic bound books, portfolios, personal albums, unpublished books, zines, digital media, and scrapbooks. The evaluation of proposals will consider the importance of the proposed topic (how significant and/or unknown is the subject) and the strength of the proposed approach.

Details and applications:

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12225436685?profile=RESIZE_400xPaul Fischer's book The man who invented motion pictures (2022) about Louis Le Prince is now available as a free download.  The year is 1888, and Louis Le Prince is finally testing his "taker" or "receiver" device for his family on the front lawn. The device is meant to capture ten to twelve images per second on film, creating a reproduction of reality that can be replayed as many times as desired. In an otherwise separate and detached world, occurrences from one end of the globe could now be viewable with only a few days delay on the other side of the world. No human experience--from the most mundane to the most momentous--would need to be lost to history.

In 1890, Le Prince was granted patents in four countries ahead of other inventors who were rushing to accomplish the same task. But just weeks before unveiling his invention to the world, he mysteriously disappeared and was never seen or heard from again. Three and half years later, Thomas Edison, Le Prince's rival, made the device public, claiming to have invented it himself. And the man who had dedicated his life to preserving memories was himself lost to history--until now.

The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures pulls back the curtain and presents a "passionate, detailed defense of Louis Le Prince...unfurled with all the cliffhangers and red herrings of a scripted melodrama" (The New York Times Book Review). This "fascinating, informative, skillfully articulated narrative" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) presents the never-before-told history of the motion picture and sheds light on the unsolved mystery of Le Prince's disappearance.

Click here to download a PDF of  the book. 

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12225405268?profile=RESIZE_400xSpecial Auction Services is to offer a rare - most likely unqiue - four lens magic lantern designed and built c.1897 by David William Noakes (1859-1934). The lantern is accompanied by a two large groups of slides. The lantern and slides were passed to the vendors' grandfather and he and his son used the lantern before it disappeared from view. 

In a technical foreword to the catalogue entry Dr Richard Crabgle, writing in the Magic Lantern Society Journal (no. 30 / 2022)  describes the history of the lantern. He notes 'The lantern itself is in its original wooden carrying case, with additional boxes for lenses, illuminants and slides. For transport and storage, the enormous brass lens tubes are removed and carried separately; even so the lantern in its case is too large for a single person to move any distance. Two groups of slides accompany the lantern. The first group comprises around 1500 wood-framed slides, in sets corresponding to the lectures Noakes gave in the 1890s...The second group comprises approximately 5,000 3¼ inch slides, mainly photographic ‘views’ but including some transfer slides (Primus, Theobald etc.) of fairy tales and other entertainment subjects.'

12225404298?profile=RESIZE_930xAccompanying the lantern are a number of technical papers, lantern programmes and photographs showing Noakes' workshop including the qud lantern.

Crangle notes 'I suggest that the lantern was built in or soon after 1897, for D.W. Noakes’s own use in his lecturing engagements. That date, paradoxically, coincided with his retirement as an optical manufacturer: an 1897 trade press account says that was because he took on more work for the family’s hay merchant business after his father’s retirement. In 1897 Noakes was planning to set up a “miniature workshop” at his new home, “so that when any idea pertaining to lanterns occurs to him he will be able to practically carry it out in a manner worthy of a lantern enthusiast.” It’s tempting to see the Quad lantern as just such a personal project, perhaps realising a long-nurtured dream.'

The ‘Noakes Quad’ will be offered with the principal collection of approximately 1,500 mahogany-mounted 3¼i n sq and other Magic Lantern Slides directly related to David Noakes, with associated artefacts and ephemera, as Lot 41.

The secondary collection of approximately 5,000 3¼in sq Magic Lantern Slides, which appears to be from diverse sources - although some slides appear to mirror the titles and contents of the principal collection with some titles possibly in David Noakes’ hand - will be offered separately as Lot 42 to Lot 78. The online catalogue will be available shortly. See:


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Talbot Correspondence back online

12225440487?profile=RESIZE_180x180Dear All, Thank you for your patience while we have repaired the Talbot Correspondence - it is now back online for searching. We will be updating it regularly, but hope that our activities will not interrupt your research. Please do let me know directly if you encounter any problems with your searches.  

Happy Researching!

Kelley Wilder e:

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Stereo highlights by JE Ellam (1857-1920)

My thanks to those who've responded to my blogpost-a-day throughout September on a cache of recently discovered amateur stereos by James Edward Ellam (1857-1920). Link here They date from the 1890s when James was refining his stereoscopic technique before working for Underwood & Underwood of London. Here are a few highlights from week 1.

1. "On The Look Out, Runswick Bay." 


 2. "West Window, Whitby Abbey 1893."


"Bracklinn Falls, Callander."


If you have Ellam stereos in your collection, I would be very interested to hear from you.

I'm trying to establish whether these stereocards and others bearing a "J. E. Ellam" credit on the verso exist as duplicates, perhaps suggesting that they were sold commercially.

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12220377485?profile=RESIZE_400xThe National Portrait Gallery is hosting two events around its Yevonde: Life and Colour exhibition. On 15 September the NPG will hold a panel discussion chaired by Chanel Curator for the Collection, Flavia Frigeri, and include panellists Juno Calypso, Ajamu X and Marika Takanishi Knowles to discuss role-play in the arts. On 29 September a study day will consider the breadth of Yevonde’s innovative photography. 

The exhibition closes on 15 October 2023

Yevonde panel discussion:  role-play in the arts / 15 September 
Study Day: Yevonde - an exploration / 29 September 

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12220334897?profile=RESIZE_400xThis one-day, in-person, interdisciplinary workshop will bring together researchers, archivists and curators to explore twentieth-century photo-magazines from across the British Empire and Commonwealth during the so-called ‘golden age of photojournalism’. Registration is now open - it is not being streamed so attendance in person is necessary.  

As well as the birth of photojournalism, the seismic political, cultural and technological revolutions of the interwar period also gave rise to a novel publication format – the photo-magazine. As Stuart Hall characterised it in his seminal 1972 essay on Picture Post, these were ‘image-over-text’ publications which gave primacy to the photographic image arranged into dynamic layouts and photo-stories by an innovative cadre of picture editors and art directors.

Exemplified by photo-reportage from the Spanish Civil War, this novel format was catalysed during the Second World War via widely circulated visual information campaigns by both commercial organisations and political actors. In the postwar period, the photo-magazine format was deployed by British occupying forces in defeated Germany. Photo-magazines were also a vital element of flourishing public relations initiatives by both newly established agencies of the UN and a host of industrial and manufacturing companies concerned about image management.

Thus, throughout the central decades of the last century, the general readership photo-magazine was developed and used to communicate with large, diverse and/or distant audiences. This format constituted a defining aspect of a public’s visual experience prior to the segmentation of magazine audiences from the 1960s and the dominance of television. This period – arguably, the golden age of photojournalism – coincides with the decline and disestablishment of the British Empire.

A selection of papers will look at publications from across the British Empire and Commonwealth in this period. These will address how such photo-magazines sought to instruct and entertain; how they represented social issues; how they othered and racialised indigenous communities; how they documented conflict; how they obscured, as much as revealed, historical developments; how they constructed, connected or divided audiences and publics; and how they explored or framed key tensions in the changing political landscape of the British Commonwealth and its constituent dominions and dependencies.

Hosted by the Tom Hopkinson Centre for Media History at Cardiff University, this initiative is a collaboration between Dr Tom Allbeson (Senior Lecturer in Media History, Cardiff University) and Dr Kevin Foster (Associate Professor in Literary Studies, Monash University).

Photo-magazines across the British Empire & Commonwealth, c.1930-65
Friday, 22 September 2023
See the programme and register here:

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12220324662?profile=RESIZE_400xLaunched online last week is the Sankey Family Photography Collection of 10,000 photographs taken by father and son, Edward and Raymond Sankey in Barrow-in-Furness. The physical archive, now housed at Cumbria Archives, is a collection of glass plate negatives and postcards of Barrow and the north-west, which is believed to be the largest of its kind, documenting Barrow between the years of 1890 and 1970.

The images were catalogued and digitised as part of the Seeing the North with Sankey Project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage fund with the support of a team of volunteers.


Image: Duke & Duchess of York at Walney Bridge / 4 Apr 1935


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12220040661?profile=RESIZE_400xBonhams auction of the Lesley Mees Collection Votes for Women includes several lots of photography including an album c.1908-1909 showing 'joyous scenes' of suffragettes leaving Holloway prison, and other subjects. It is estimated at £1500-2000. 

Votes for Women
The Lesley Mees Collection
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