50 carbon prints, most approximately 6 x 8 inches, each mounted on thick card approximately 10¼ x 16½ inches, within border ruled in brown ink; many titled and numbered in pencil below, several with pencil annotations in a later hand on verso (another later numbering system is indicated in square brackets in descriptions below); in original wood box with hinged opening front panel and lid, original paper label pasted inside lid ‘J. BERTRAM, Platinotype and Carbon printer, 148 Rose Street, Edinburgh’; with a small gelatin silver ‘passport’ style photograph of an older woman with Foreign Office stamps in ink and blind on lower section, annotated ‘Jessie Bertram’ (partially obscured) in ink on verso.
US $69264 €57633
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Collection of portraits and views from Edinburgh and St Andrews,
David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson are known primarily for their portraits of ‘men of the cloth’ taken during a short burst of intense photographic activity between 1843 and 1847. Their portraits of women and children are fewer but equally memorable and perhaps more appreciated today, as are their Newhaven fishing portraits, their landscapes and city views. This body of work was kept in the public’s attention by the efforts of their successors, the photographers and collector/ publishers Thomas and James Craig Annan, Andrew Elliot, Alfred Stieglitz and, by no means least, the Edinburgh photographer Jessie Bertram (1881–1954). It was she who reprinted this selection of their photographs which were advertised by the publisher, Andrew Elliot, as being made from the original calotype negatives. She used the permanent carbon process, producing beautiful prints that remain strong and rich in tone 100 years later. The selection offered here, although numbering 50 which suggests a complete set from the evidence of other groupings, comes in a wood box supplied by the photographer with space for more examples and a label indicating that she also offered photographs made using the platinum process, another method noted for its permanency. Found among the mounted prints was a small passport-style photograph of a middle-aged woman, surely the photographer?