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Photograph - The Hay Cart
  • The Hay Cart
    Emerson, Peter Henry, born 1856 - died 1936
  • Enlarge image

The Hay Cart

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    East Anglia (photographed)
    England (photographed)

  • Date:

    1881-1888 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Emerson, Peter Henry, born 1856 - died 1936 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Presented by P.H. Emerson, Esq. in January 1888

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 418, box A

When Emerson was particularly satisfied with an image, he would publish it as a large individual print in two different ways: a ‘de luxe’ limited edition, presented on elegant India paper, and a standard edition on a lesser quality paper.
He published approximately seven images individually as ‘separate plates’. To further promote their unique appeal, as he did with all of his published works, he declared that the negatives, transparencies and plates would be destroyed so future reproductions could not be made. He was also strategic in making sure his works reached the collections of major art institutions.
He donated his single prints, books and portfolios to the Library at the South Kensington Museum (now the National Art Library at the V&A), The Royal Academy of Arts, and the Photographic Society (now The Royal Photographic Society), immediately after their publication to enhance his reputation.

Emerson gifted The Hay Cart to the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) in January 1888. It does not appear in any of the lists Emerson published of his ‘separate plates’, but its size suggests that it might be an enlarged variant of The Haysel, plate 2 in the Idyls of the Norfolk Broads portfolio (1887), which Emerson also published as a ‘separate plate’.

Physical description

black and white photograph of a hay cart

Place of Origin

East Anglia (photographed)
England (photographed)


1881-1888 (photographed)


Emerson, Peter Henry, born 1856 - died 1936 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 39.5 cm image, Width: 51.8 cm image, Height: 41.5 cm paper, Width: 53 cm paper

Descriptive line

Photograph, 'The Hay Cart' by Peter Henry Emerson, photogravure, 1881-1888.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

John Taylor The old order and the new: P H Emerson and photography, 1885-1895 Munich; New York; London: Prestel, 2006. 160p.: ill (some col). ISBN: 3791336991 / 9783791336992.

Subjects depicted





Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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