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Silver-gilt Salver, Royal Palace of Ajuda, Lisbon

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Lisbon (photographed)

  • Date:

    1866 (photographed)
    1869 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Thompson, Charles Thurston, born 1816 - died 1868 (photographer)
    Department of Science and Art of the Committee of Council on Education (commissioned by)
    South Kensington Museum (commissioned by)
    Arundel Society (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen print from wet collodion glass negative

  • Museum number:

    67436

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 512M, case MX13C, shelf X, box 453

Sir Henry Cole, the first director of South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) understood the importance of photography as an extension of the resources of the Museum. He saw a role for photography in terms of documenting and promoting the Museum’s collection, as well as a tool for art education. In 1856, When Cole appointed his brother-in-law, Charles Thurston Thompson, as Museum Photographer, the first museum photographic service was born.

Under Cole’s direction, the Museum sourced photographs from a wide range of suppliers and sponsored photographic campaigns abroad. In 1866, Thurston Thompson traveled to Iberia armed with a registry of desirable items for photographing. Included among the list were objects from the collections of the Royal Palaces in Lisbon. The lack of contextuality of these photographs points to Thurston Thompson’s belief in his role as a documentary photographer.

Physical description

A sepia-coloured mounted photograph of a highly ornate large platter bound with 19 other photographs, each with printed text, in an album with introductory text and table of contents.

Place of Origin

Lisbon (photographed)

Date

1866 (photographed)
1869 (published)

Artist/maker

Thompson, Charles Thurston, born 1816 - died 1868 (photographer)
Department of Science and Art of the Committee of Council on Education (commissioned by)
South Kensington Museum (commissioned by)
Arundel Society (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Albumen print from wet collodion glass negative

Dimensions

Height: 47.5 cm album cover, Width: 41 cm album cover, Depth: 2.5 cm album cover

Object history note

This is one of 20 photographs bound in an album published by the Arundel Society. Founded in 1848, the aim of the socieity was to promote a greater knowledge of art through the publication of literary works and reproductions. Following from Henry Cole's determination to make the South Kensington Museum's collection of reproductions as comprehensive as possible, the Museum in 1866 entered into an arrangment with the Arundel Society to publish and sell reproductions, including fictile ivories and photographs of objects exhibited at the Museum. In addition, the arrangment included the publication and sale of a series of books entitled 'Examples of Art Workmanship of Various Ages and Countries'. These books, which appeared between 1866 and 1875, consisted of a short introduction and photographic illustrations. This photograph is from the publication dedicated to 'Decorative Plate, chiefly Portuguese, German and Italian', published in 1869.

Descriptive line

Photograph by Charles Thurston Thompson, Silver-gilt Salver, Royal Palace of Ajuda, Lisbon, albumen print, 1866

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

'Examples of Art Workmanship of Various Ages and Countries: Decorative Plate. Chiefly Portugeuse, German and Italian'. London: The Arundel Socieity for the Promoting the Knowldge of Art, 1869.

Subjects depicted

Salver

Categories

Photographs; Metalwork; Silver

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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