JULIA MARGARET CAMERON
albumen print, on a gilt-ruled mount, signed and annotated 'From Life Registered Photograph Copyright Fresh Water' in ink, lithographic autograph and inscription 'I like this photograph very much better than any other which has been taken of me,' and with the Colnaghi blindstamp on the mount, 1868-69; accompanied by a letter from Helmut Gernsheim to Will Weissberg and a copy of a first edition copy of Gernsheim's 1948 publication Julia Margaret Cameron: Her Life and Work (Cox 645, reversed) (3)
11⅝ by 9⅝ in. (29.5 by 24.4 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 retains all of its original detail – this print rates an 8. The darkest areas of the print retains a rich chocolate brown tonality but the highlights appear to have faded and yellowed somewhat. The following are visible in raking light: scuffs; several shallow impressions; faint silvering; superficial scratches; and matte deposits, possibly foxing. None of these detract from the overall fine appearance of this portrait in a meaningful way.
The mount is age-darkened at the image periphery and in the area of the lithographic inscription. There is soiling and some scattered foxmarks overall. There are 2 tape remnants near the upper corners. There is an area of discoloration in the lower right corner, and a small loss and tear. The lower left corner is sharply creased. '1 having auto' is written in an unidentified hand in pencil along the lower left edge.
The reverse of the mount is discolored overall and soiled in a few places. There is a strip of masking tape along the lower edge and a piece of Filmoplast stabilizing a tear at the lower left (annotated 'FILMOPLAST' in an unidentified hand in pencil). 'GWNY + LNY' and '301965' is written in an unidentified hand in pencil.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
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 INCLUDED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Originally in the collection of Will Weissberg
This lot is accompanied by a letter from Julia Margaret Cameron biographer Helmut Gernsheim to Will Weissberg on The Park Shelton Hotel, Detroit, stationery dated 25 June 1963, expressing Gernheim's interest in reproducing letters between Cameron and J. F. W. Herschel from Weissberg's collection in the second edition of his Cameron biography.
On 16 May 1967, Sotheby's held the landmark sale The Will Weissberg Collection of Rare Photographs, Cameras & Related Devices, which included 8 Cameron photographs from his collection.