Venetian mirror circa 1700, from the collection of Mr. John Webb thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On short term loan out for exhibition

Venetian mirror circa 1700, from the collection of Mr. John Webb

Photograph
1853 (photographed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Charles Thurston was the first official photographer employed by the South Kensington Museum. He was appointed in 1856 but photographed at the Museum in 1853. His subject here is a Venetian mirror lent to the Museum for an exhibition of 'Decorative Furniture' at Gore House, South Kensington. Such loan objects were photographed prior to their return to lenders so that photographic copies could be sold to designers, craftsmen and students, and also filed in the Museum's library for study. Thompson inadvertently included himself and his camera, reflected in the mirror. It gives us a vivid glimpse of a photographer at work outdoors - in the garden at Gore House - in the early days of the Museum and the profession of Museum Photography.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Albumen print from wet collodion-on-glass negative
Brief Description
Photograph by Charles Thurston Thompson, 'Venetian mirror circa 1700, from the collection of Mr. John Webb', albumen print, 1853
Physical Description
Sepia photograph mounted on card showing an elaborate Venetian mirror placed against a white backdrop. A camera and photographer are reflected in the mirror with trees beyond
Dimensions
  • Height: 22.8cm
  • Image width: 16.3cm
Style
Production typeUnlimited edition
Marks and Inscriptions
DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND ART / LIBRARY [with a crown] (Stamp; English; On mount, top centre; blind-stamp)
Gallery Label
Charles Thurston Thompson (1816–68) Venetian Mirror, about 1700 Carved and Gilt Frame, Venetian, date about 1690 Both 1853 Thurston Thompson was the first official photographer of the South Kensington Museum (the original name of the V&A). He documented works that were on loan to the Museum, such as this Venetian mirror. By recording his reflection and that of his camera as well as the frame’s intricate carvings, he revealed the process of making images such as these. Albumen prints Museum nos. 39833, 32832(23/7/2016-5/3/2017)
Subjects depicted
Summary
Charles Thurston was the first official photographer employed by the South Kensington Museum. He was appointed in 1856 but photographed at the Museum in 1853. His subject here is a Venetian mirror lent to the Museum for an exhibition of 'Decorative Furniture' at Gore House, South Kensington. Such loan objects were photographed prior to their return to lenders so that photographic copies could be sold to designers, craftsmen and students, and also filed in the Museum's library for study. Thompson inadvertently included himself and his camera, reflected in the mirror. It gives us a vivid glimpse of a photographer at work outdoors - in the garden at Gore House - in the early days of the Museum and the profession of Museum Photography.
Associated Object
32:638 (Version)
Bibliographic Reference
Julius Bryant, ed. Art and Design for All. The Victoria and Albert Museum London: V&A Publishing, 2011. ISBN: 9781851776665.
Collection
Accession Number
39833

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record createdFebruary 11, 2004
Record URL