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Daguerreotype - Portrait of a lady
  • Portrait of a lady
    Kilburn, William Edward, born 1818 - died 1891
  • Enlarge image

Portrait of a lady

  • Object:

    Daguerreotype

  • Place of origin:

    London (photographed)

  • Date:

    early 1850s (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Kilburn, William Edward, born 1818 - died 1891 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Photograph, coloured

  • Credit Line:

    Given by J. L. Nevinson

  • Museum number:

    2-1939

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 122c, case 2

Kilburn opened a Daguerreotype studio in London in 1846. He advertised his portraits in the press stating that 'The likeness taken by the photographic process serves merely as a sketch for the miniature, which is painted by M. Mansion, whose productions on Ivory are so celebrated in Paris. They have when finished all the delicacy of an elaborate miniature, with the infallible accuracy of expression only obttainable by the photographic process.' Three hand-coloured Daguereotypes by Kilburn were shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851.

Physical description

Portrait of a young lady with hand-painted and gilt detials in a plush lined papier-mache case.

Place of Origin

London (photographed)

Date

early 1850s (photographed)

Artist/maker

Kilburn, William Edward, born 1818 - died 1891 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Photograph, coloured

Marks and inscriptions

By Appointment [the royal arms]/Mr Kilburn./ 234 Regent Street
Stamped in the case cover.

No 15
Incised on the reverse of the copper plate

Dimensions

Height: 9 cm image, Width: 6.5 cm image, Height: 12.1 cm case closed, Width: 9.5 cm case closed, Depth: 1 cm case closed

Historical context note

Donor of this and other fine Daguerreotypes to the V&A in 1939

Descriptive line

19thC, hand-tinted daguerreotype in a plush-lined papier mache case; Kilburn, William Edward, c. 1851

Labels and date

British Galleries
DAGUERREOTYPES

Daguerreotypes are the earliest widely known photographs: their startling clarity is still impressive. The image is made on a brightly polished sheet of silvered copper. This process was initially used almost entirely for commercial portraiture. The photographs here by early amateurs, Horatio Ross and William Edward Kilburn, show a fishing scene and a portrait, prototypes of the ever-popular 'family snapshot'. [14/07/06]
Object Type

Daguerreotypes (an early type of photograph on a silvered copper plate) were usually protected by glass and sometimes kept in leather or thick plastic cases because the highly polished surface is easily scratched. The image is a unique positive made directly onto the plate without a negative, as in other forms of photography. Many daguerreotype photographers replaced miniature painters as makers of portraits as the process was quicker and less expensive.

Ownership & Use

Daguerreotypes were not made primarily for public display in exhibitions. Such small and intimate photographs were generally produced as private keepsakes and often remained within the family.

People

Kilburn opened a Daguerreotype studio in London in 1846. He advertised his portraits in the press stating that 'Thelikeness taken by the photographic process serves merely as a sketch for the miniature, which is painted by M. Mansion, whose productions on Ivory are so celebrated in Paris. They have when finished all the delicacy of an elaborate miniature, with the infallible accuracy of expression only obttainable by the photographic process.' Three hand-coloured Daguereotypes by Kilburn were shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851. [14/07/06]

Production Note

Reason For Production: Retail

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Daguerreotype

Categories

Photographs

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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