An interesting window into the past, a classic portrait composition of Susanna Rice Sproston (nee Moses). Created using the painted salt paper technique invented in the 1830’s. The subject was born Lincoln 1792 and passed 1882 Headington aged 90. Wife of George William Sproston who was a priest. Quality gilt frame and mount board with photographers stamp at bottom of mount board. The stamp confirms this was a commissioned work of photographer William Edward Kilburn. Kilburn was appointed to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert who had been impressed by his work. Kilburn photographed Queen Victoria 6 times per annum along with other members of the Royal Family. The salted paper technique was created in the late 1830s by English scientist and inventor Henry Fox Talbot. He made what he called "sensitive paper" for "photogenic drawing" by wetting a sheet of writing paper with a weak solution of ordinary table salt (sodium chloride), blotting and drying it, then brushing one side with a strong solution of silver nitrate. This produced a tenacious coating of silver chloride in an especially light-sensitive chemical condition. The paper darkened where it was exposed to light. When the darkening was judged to be sufficient, the exposure was ended and the result was stabilized by applying a strong solution of salt, which altered the chemical balance and made the paper only slightly sensitive to additional exposure. In 1839, washing with a solution of sodium thiosulfate ("hypo") was found to be the most effective way to make the results truly light-fast. The resulting print was then hand painted creating a fine work which would have been the most expensive service offered to clients. This print was completed between 1847 and 1853 before Kilburn moved from his Liberty House studio 222 Regent Street, London. To the rear of the frame are a number of historical hand written notations detailing research into the subject through the decades. A fascinating and decorative historical piece of appeal to photography collectors and historians. Size - 34cm x 29cm £186.00 including postage to U.K. zone 1 addresses. For postage costs to addresses outside U.K. zone 1 and overseas postage please enquire prior to placing your order thank you.
19thC hand painted photographic portrait by WE Kilburn