JULIA MARGARET CAMERON
J. F. W. HERSCHEL
albumen print, on a gilt-ruled mount, signed and annotated 'From Life Registered Copyright,' by the photographer, autographed by the sitter in ink, and with the Colnaghi blindstamp on the mount, 1867 (Cox 675)
14 by 10¾ in. (35.6 by 27.1 cm.)
Grading this albumen print on a scale of 1 to 10 – a 10 being a print with deep brown dark tones and cream-toned highlights that retain all of their original detail – this print rates a 7.
As is frequently the case with Cameron's photographs, the lack of deep dark tones in this print does not appear to be the result of fading; rather, the print's tonality itself is somewhat light overall. The print is slightly faded in the lightest areas of the image, with some resultant loss of detail. The highlights have yellowed with age and there is silvering in the darkest areas, which appears somewhat uneven along the left edge. Upon close examination, there are some scuffs and superficial scratches, including two scuffs near the top of the sitter's head.
The mount is age-darkened and there are two large liquid stains in the left portion of the mount. The following is also visible: foxmarks varying in tone; a few faint red scuffs; and rounded corners with a few edge losses, not affecting the print. The reverse of the mount is darkened and soiled overall. There are old adhesive stains and tape remnants along the edges. The following is written in an unidentified hand in pencil: 'Sir J. F. W. Herschel (signed by him) From Life Registered Photograph Copyright Julia Margaret Cameron / Astronomer Royal Silver Print. / See plate 51 Gernsheim's J. M. Cameron' and '88 NRQQ.' There are several other partially erased and illegible pencil notations.
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.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Helmut Gernsheim, Julia Margaret Cameron (Aperture, 1975), p. 121
Mike Weaver, Julia Margaret Cameron 1815-1879 (Southampton, 1984), p. 108
Amanda Hopkinson, Julia Margaret Cameron (London, 1986), p. 69