Group in front of Margam Castle thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F , Case X, Shelf 1038

Group in front of Margam Castle

Photograph
ca.1845 (photographed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This photograph is the right side of a two-part panorama. Two men pose together on a lawn in front of a gabled end of a Tudor-Gothic country house, the seated man is wearing a top hat. Ornate towers and pinacles dominate the skyline. There is a gothic decorated window over the entrance door to the left and ornamental railings to the right.
The photograph exhibits some fading, especially to the upper and lower edges.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
salted papeer print from a calotype negative
Brief Description
19thC; Jones Calvert, Two men in front of a Country House
Physical Description
This photograph is the right side of a two-part panorama. Two men pose together on a lawn in front of a gabled end of a Tudor-Gothic country house, the seated man is wearing a top hat. Ornate towers and pinacles dominate the skyline. There is a gothic decorated window over the entrance door to the left and ornamental railings to the right.

The photograph exhibits some fading, especially to the upper and lower edges.
Dimensions
  • Height: 21.8cm
  • Width: 18.5cm
Gallery Label
Rev. Richard Calvert Jones (1802–77) Margam Castle, Port Talbot About 1845 Margam Castle was built in the Tudor-Gothic style for Christopher Talbot between 1830 and 1839. The photograph may have been made by Jones as a gift for Talbot. Jones had previously photographed the mansion in March 1841 using the daguerreotype process. [45 words] Salted paper print Museum no. Ph.73-1983
Object history
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/positive process. Subsequently, Jones became one of the few Britons to produce a substantial body of calotype 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. Calvert Jones was a close friend and neighbour of Kit Talbot (cousin of W H F Talbot); they 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 had previously 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
Margam Castle was built by Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot between 1830 and 1839, though work was not completed on parts of the house, outbuildings and terraces until 1844. It replaced a former mansion demolished by his father at the end of the 18th century. Tallbot influenced the design: he borrowed elements from Lacock Abbey and an octagonal tower from Melbury House (birth place of W.H.F. Talbot). He incorporated heraldic shields and carved faces to celebrate the long family history and 13th century origins of the site.
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Associated Object
Collection
Accession Number
PH.73-1983

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record createdJanuary 31, 2008
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