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Photograph - Groups in front of Margam Castle
  • Groups in front of Margam Castle
    Jones, Calvert Richard Rev., born 1802 - died 1877
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Groups in front of Margam Castle

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Wales (photographed)

  • Date:

    ca.1845 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jones, Calvert Richard Rev., born 1802 - died 1877 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Salted paper print from calotype negative

  • Museum number:

    PH.72-1983

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 353, box F

Physical description

This photograph is left side of a two-part panorama. Two groups, predominately of women, are posed on a lawn in front of a gabled, Tudor-Gothic, three storey country house. Decorative neo-Tudor chimneys dominate the skyline and there is a square two storey tower to the left. A driveway sweeps diagonally left to right across the foreground.
The image is faded, particularly at the lower edge. There is a diagonal crease to the top left corner of the print.

Place of Origin

Wales (photographed)

Date

ca.1845 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Jones, Calvert Richard Rev., born 1802 - died 1877 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Salted paper print from calotype negative

Dimensions

Height: 21.9 cm, Width: 18.2 cm

Object history note

Educated at Oxford and a mathematician, musician, painter and parson, Calvert Richard Jones was introduced to photography by a cousin of William Henry Fox Talbot, British inventor of the negative/positve process. Subsequently, Jones became one of the few Britons to produce a substantial body of calotypes in Britain and abroad. His work stands out in the early development of photography because of his ability to fuse his technical skill with his training as a watercolorist.

Margam Castle, the country house in this early panorama, had been built recently by Christopher (Kit) Rice Mansel Talbot, cousin of Henry Talbot and a close friend and neighbour of Jones. Jones and Talbot were contemporaries at Oriel College Oxford and had shared interests. The series of house portraits of Margam may have been made by Jones as a gift for Talbot. Jones also photographed Margam in March 1841, prior to its completion, using the daguerreotype process.

The panorama places the entrance to Margam Castle in the centre of the composition with the main driveway sweeping up to it. Although the two parts of the panorama can stand alone, the double view with the towers to the centre right is a much stronger architectural composition. The groups of foreground figures reveal Margam as a family showpiece as well as a romantic extravaganza.

Historical context note

Margam Castle was built between 1830 and 1839, though work was not completed on parts of the house and outbuildings and terraces until 1844. It was built by Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot and it replaced a former mansion demolished by his father at the end of the 18th century. Talbot influenced the design; he borrowed elements from Lacock Abbey, an octagonal tower from Melbury House (birthplace of W.H.F.Talbot). He incorporated heraldic shields and carved faces to celebrate the long famility history and the13th century origins of the site.

Descriptive line

19thC; Jones Calvert, Group in a Country house garden

Materials

Salted paper

Techniques

Calotype

Subjects depicted

Country house; Garden; Landscape; Figures

Categories

Photographs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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