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Photograph - Scotch firs, Hawkhurst
  • Scotch firs, Hawkhurst
    Turner, Benjamin Brecknell, born 1815 - died 1894
  • Enlarge image

Scotch firs, Hawkhurst

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Hawkhurst (photographed)

  • Date:

    1852 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Turner, Benjamin Brecknell, born 1815 - died 1894 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen print from calotype negative

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 354, box G

Benjamin Turner was one of the first, and remains one of the greatest, British amateur photographers. He began practising photography in 1849 according to the technique patented in 1841 by the British inventor W. H. Fox Talbot (1800-1877). Turner's photographs were 'contact' printed from paper negatives (known as calotypes) of the same size as the print. He printed them on albumen paper, which is paper that has been floated on an emulsion of egg white containing light-sensitive silver salts. Between 1852 and 1854 Turner compiled 60 of his own photographs, including this one, in what is believed to be a unique album, 'Photographic Views from Nature'. It might have been a sample book, a convenient method for presenting photographs for personal pleasure, and for showing to colleagues or potential exhibitors. It remained in the Turner family until it was bought by the Museum.

Many of Turner's photographs are of places with which he had some family connection. His younger brother William Frederick lived for a while with friends in Kent in order to learn about farming, which may explain Turner's visit to Hawkhurst and the surrounding area. Turner may also have been visiting the astronomer Sir John Herschel, who lived at Hawkhurst and contributed much to the early development of photography.

Physical description


Place of Origin

Hawkhurst (photographed)


1852 (made)


Turner, Benjamin Brecknell, born 1815 - died 1894 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Albumen print from calotype negative


Height: 26.7 cm, Width: 38.2 cm

Descriptive line

19thC; Turner B B, Scotch Firs, Hawkhurst



Subjects depicted

Lane; Fir




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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