Album of 49 photographs by the Victorian photographer William Claridge of Berkhamstead, with the ownership inscription of his granddaughter Sybil Maude Hubert, and including character studies of individuals, and an unknown view of the City of London

William Claridge (1797-1876) of Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, Victorian photographer; his granddaughter Sybil Maude Hubert [married name Churchill] (1872-1944)
Publication details: 
[Berkhamstead] The photographs dating from c. 1855 to 1876. Sybil M. Hubert's ownership inscription dated 1883.
SKU: 13590

49 photographic prints, laid down on 48pp. of a small (16.5 x 13 cm) contemporary 4to album, quarter-bound with brown leather spine and brown cloth boards, with yellow endpapers. No captions: the only manuscript in the volume being the ownership inscription of 'Sybil M. Hubert | 1883' on the front free endpaper. A fragile survival: aged and discoloured, with occasional staining from damp, which also caused some of the photographs to stick to one another, with slight damage occurring on their being detached; binding also in poor condition, with boards detached and leaves loose. The first print in the album is of a calligraphic title, within a decorative border, reading 'Photographs | by | W. Claridge'. Claridge was a painter as well as a photographer, and twenty-five of the photographs in the album are of paintings and engravings by other artists, probably intended as inspiration for his own work. The other twenty-two photographs are taken from life (with some apparently photographs of photographs). On the sixth page is a photograph of Claridge himself, with another man, standing in a garden behind a group of five seated ladies and two children; on the facing page is an 11 x 14 cm print of a garden pond, one of four landscape photographs. Other prints include: a head and shoulders study of a manly-looking woman, with centre parting, white bonnet and plaid dress; a study of a mother and child; an image of a seated Claridge, with walking stick and summer hat, staring wistfully into space; a sleeping infant; a seated girl with hat on her knee; a dour old woman in black bonnet and dotted shawl; a labourer in shirtsleeves, waistcoat, dotted cravat and broad-brimmed hat; a middle-class woman seated at a table with a vase of flowers; an old man in dark suit with walking-stick; a young boy in jacket and Eton-collared shirt; a standing gentleman behind a seated one; a clergyman with a volume open in his left hand; and images of seated clergymen (one cross-eyed) on facing pages. Although badly damaged, one of the four landscape photographs is of great interest. Its dimensions are 9 x 17 cm, and it depicts the City of London as viewed from the south side of the Thames, with St Paul's Cathedral and some City churches faintly visible in the background. The foreground shows shipping and buildings on the Thames, with a group of wharfs on the right named as: 'W & F | WHITE KENNET WHARF | WORCESTER WHARF'. An anonymous engraving of 'St Paul's Cathedral from Southwark Bridge', published by G. J. Cox, and tentatively dated to 1835, would appear to have been made from a detail of this photograph, which appears to be unknown.