THE BERYL VOSBURGH PHOTOGRAPHICA COLLECTION
GOES UNDER THE HAMMER
3RD MAY 2018 AT 10AM
The ‘Jubilee’ Collection amassed by one of the first specialist antique photographica dealers and collectors in London, the late Beryl Vosburgh, will go under the hammer at Special Auction Services in Newbury on Thursday, 3 May at 10.00 and is expected to realise in excess of £30,000.
The auction comprises items from Jubilee Photographica, Beryl's shop as well as those from her own 40-year collection. It comprises a multitude of fine images, including works by Julia Margaret Cameron, William Fox Talbot – one of the founders of modern photography, Angus McBean and Cecil Beaton, theatrical images, Hattie Jacques’ collection of postcards of Gaiety Girls, Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, photographic jewellery, stereoscopic images, photograph albums and topographical images from around the world. However, the core is several thousand cartes de visite, which are of huge social interest as precursors to photographic postcards, are expected to be very popular amongst collectors. In a time of formal manners and growing interest in photography, it was in Paris in 1857 that the photographer André Disdéri promoted the idea of putting a small albumen photographic print on a visiting card and Nadar, also in Paris, soon followed suit. Studios opened in major cities around the world and the exchange of cartes became a craze; soon most towns of any size in wealthier countries housed studios. The collection focuses strongly on the glorious early years up to the mid-1860s, exemplified by the London-based Frenchman Camille Silvy (see image), whose cartes show beautiful crispness, depth of tone and compositional skill. This gorgeous example has a painterly quailty that few photographers could rival. The majority of the images show individuals sitting or standing – sometimes in discomfort owing to the length of exposure – in studios, but Beryl’s attention means that she collected enchanting family groups, children with toys and dolls, cartes taken outside, views around the world, sitters in British India and other parts of the Empire, as well as circus attractions, famous politicians and royalty.