Monday, March 24, 2014

Some Hertfordshire Photographers from circa 1870.

Post Cards
For many families the earliest surviving pictures of the ancestors are the Victorian Carte de Visite (CDV) and I have been collecting examples by different photographers to help you date the old portraits from the details printed on the back.

An unknown House by Fred Downer of Watford
Frederick Downer of Watford started out as a photographer in 1862. He started from his father's shop in Watford High Street, before opening a photographic studio in Loates Lane. This picture of an unknown house, and two portrait pictures, were produced before the Loates Lane address appeared on the back of his CDV - so are probably from about 1870, or earlier.

The Basebe family were artists and photographers and Athelstane Basebe was probably the one who took photographs in Hertford in about 1872. He left the county to return to Hemel Hempstead in about 1890, (I have no examples of this period) and Watford about 1900.

An unknown group by Cooper of St Albans
Thomas Milburn Cooper moved to St Albans in about 1865 and practiced as a photographer until his death in 1901. I have added three additional examples of his work, and have arranged 5 different backs into probable date order. This portrait group is believed to be from about 1870.

Samuel Rudd (died 1871)
Thomas Benwell Latchmore of Hitchin started out as a photographer in 1865 and took over the business of George Avery in 1870. The portrait of Samuel Rudd of Hitchin gives the pre-1870 address and the dating is supported by the fact that Samuel died in 1871. The back reveals that he also has a studio at Royston in the early years.

If you have examples with different backs, or known dates, I would love to hear from you - so I can improve the timelines for these , and other, Hertfordshire photographers.

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