Property from the Collection of Professor Graham Smith
WILLIAM HENRY FOX TALBOT | A MOUNTAIN RIVULET WHICH FLOWS AT THE FOOT OF DOUNE CASTLE
Estimate: 10,000 - 15,000 USD
WILLIAM HENRY FOX TALBOT
A MOUNTAIN RIVULET WHICH FLOWS AT THE FOOT OF DOUNE CASTLE
salt print from a calotype negative, annotated 'LA 44' by Eugene Ostroff in ink on the reverse, 1844 (Sun Pictures, pl. 20)
3¼ by 4⅛ in. (8.3 by 10.5 cm.)
Grading this salt print on a scale of one to 10 – a 10 being a print that has rich brown dark tones, creamy highlights, and retains all of its original detail – this print rates a 9. It has rich chocolate-red tones and sets forth terrific detail. It is slightly lighter at the center, but this is likely a feature of the exposure rather than fading of this print.
This early photograph is in generally excellent condition. The print has wide, richly-pigmented margins; the coating is slightly uneven in the lower margin, as expected on a hand-coated print. The upper margin edge is unevenly trimmed, and the lower edge is deckled. The photograph is hinged to a mat along the upper edge on the reverse.
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.
Lacock Abbey Collection
Collection of Howard Bond, Ann Arbor
In October 1844, Talbot traveled to Scotland to take pictures for a photographic project, later to be named Sun Pictures in Scotland; the objective was to document sites and scenes connected with the life and writing of Sir Walter Scott. During this trip Talbot took the present image of a stream running through woods north of Doune Castle, a location that played an important role in Scott’s first novel Waverley (1814). This photograph would become plate 20 in Sun Pictures in Scotland. However, prints of this image that come from copies of Sun Pictures are typically faint in comparison to the example offered here, which still retains rich chocolate-red tones and terrific detail.
This photograph, and that offered in Lot 171, come from the collection of Professor Graham Smith, former editor of the international quarterly journal History of Photography and author of several studies on Talbot, most notably on Sun Pictures in Scotland.