Attrib. Philip Henry Delamotte, Buttercross, Witney -1860s albumen print
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An original 1860s albumen print photograph, Attrib. Philip Henry Delamotte Buttercross, Market Square, Witney.
This striking photograph displays the richness, tonal range and clarity of Delamotte’s architectural albumen prints, along with his artistic eye for dramatic composition. The print shows the buttercross in the market square in Whitney, so called because people from neighbouring towns would gather there to buy butter and eggs.
The photograph originates from a Victorian album of Oxford artworks featuring a number of original drawings by Philip’s father, William Alfred Delamotte.
Laid down on backing paper. There is an additional albumen print of Abbots Bridge, Bury Saint Edmunds pasted on the verso, as shown.
Unsigned. Inscribed below lower centre: 'Witney'.
Some age toning as shown.
10.3cm x 18.3cm.
Philip Henry Delamotte (1821-1889) was a British photographer and illustrator. Son of artist William Alfred Delamotte, he was a founding member of the Calotype Club, and went on to become Professor of Drawing and Fine Art at King's College London.
Delamotte is best known for his photographic images recording the disassembly of the Crystal Palace in 1852, and its reconstruction and expansion at Sydenham. He was one of the first artists to use photography as a way of recording important structures and events – the resulting prints published in several books. He also worked on a number of publications recording architectural sites around Britain, including ‘A photographic tour among the Abbeys of Yorkshire’ in 1856.
Initially working in the calotype process, on the invention of the albumen print - announced by French photographer and publisher Louis-Désiré Blanquard-Évrard in 1850 – Philip Henry Delamotte was one of the earliest British photographers to adopt the new albumen technique. One of its earliest champions, he stated in 1855: ‘Positive proofs taken upon paper coated with a film of albumen attain a brilliancy of effect by a softening of the glaring white of the lights, with a transparency in the shadows, which cannot be arrived at by any other means’.
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Product code: JJ-676