[Frith & Co., Francis (attributed to)]
- Pompeii Photographed. London: William Mackenzie (Glasgow and Edinburgh), [1860s]
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
This portfolio contains 26 photographs: 24 of Pompeii and 2 of Herculaneum. It does not appear to include 3 of the views listed on the title (Diomedes' House; Street of the Tombs; and The Forum), but does contain 5 additional unlisted views of Pompeii in the same format as the others (a second variant view of 'The House of Sallust'; the 'Street of Salust'; the 'Temple of Jove'; and 2 additional photographs of frescos). Many of the views include posed people.
Francis Frith was one of the most successful commercial photographers from the 1850s and 1860s, and established what was to become the largest photographic printing business in England. This portfolio of photographs is probably part of Frith's 'Universal Series' collection, which consists of over 4,000 photographs predominantly of historical and topographical sites. Most Frith Series photographs were not taken by Frith himself, but by other photographers whose images he would pay for, including Robert Napper (Andalusia), Frank Mason Good (Egypt) and Frederick William Sutton and Hugo Lewis Pearson (Japan). In addition to hiring his own photographers, Frith also bought the negative stocks of established photographers such as Roger Fenton and Francis Bedford.