Contact Donovan Rees

Fine photographs and photobooks with an emphasis on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We stock images by recognised masters such as Hill & Adamson, Roger Fenton or Julia Margaret Cameron as well as more eclectic examples illustrating the range of formats and processes used in the early years of the medium. This might include fine daguerreotypes, complete photograph albums, carbon or platinum prints by known or amateur photographers.

We are also interested in the work of early travel photographers, particularly those in the Middle and Far East. From later periods we hold work by British photographers specialising in fine art and documentary photography including Alvin Langdon Coburn, J. Dudley Johnston, Bill Brandt and Raymond Moore.

  1. [HAMBURG.] 

    A sammelband of material relating to the Great Fire of Hamburg. 

    [Germany, 1842.] 

    A fine and unusual volume of materials relating to the Great Fire of Hamburg of May 1842, comprising a long article by Joseph Mendelssohn published over five issues of Der Komet, special issues of several periodicals devoted to the disaster, a rare poem by Margarethe Hedwig Hülle, and...


  2. BISSON, Louis-Auguste. 


    Paris, c. 1844. 

    An extraordinary equine portrait, testimony to the improvements made in the daguerreotype process made by Louis-August Bisson which allowed greater spontaneity through shorter exposure times. 


  3. IRVING, Washington, and Felix DARLEY (illustrator).

    Rip van Winkle; a posthumous Writing of Diedrich Knickerbocker...

    London: Joseph Cundall … 1850.

    First English edition, rare, first published as Illustrations of Rip Van Winkle (New York, 1848) in oblong folio. For this more compact English edition the publisher and early photographic entrepreneur Joseph Cundall made an early use of photography: ‘The present illustrations have been reduced...



    A collection of eight albumen prints (or salt and albumen collages) from mammoth-plate negatives...

    France, 1864-5.

    An exceptional series of oversize prints commissioned by the Compagnie de Chemins de Fer de l‘Ouest to commemorate the construction of a series of new bridges completed 1861–1864, including the metal bridge at Orival, later destroyed in the Franco-Prussian War, and the oblique stone bridge of...


  5. [DAGUERRE.] MAYER & PIERSON [after Charles Richard MEADE.]

    Carte-de-visite albumen print portrait of Louis Daguerre.

    Paris, late 1860s.

    In 1848 the pioneering American photographer Charles Richard Meade secured the commission for which he is now best known, a series of daguerrotypes of the medium’s founding father Louis Jaques Mandé Daguerre. The five images, known as the white-tie series to distinguish them from other portraits,...


  6. VALENTINE, James (photographer).

    Album of Scottish views, mainly of Stirling and surroundings.

    Circa 1870s.

    A handsome example of a topographical view album by the Scottish photographer James Valentine, focusing on Stirling and the surrounding areas.


  7. ANNAN, Thomas.

    Memorials of the Old College of Glasgow.

    Glasgow, T. Annan Photographer; J. Maclehose, Publisher and Bookseller to the University, 1871

    A very good copy illustrated with albumen rather than carbon prints.


  8. SMITH, Hubert, and Thomas Charles BROMWICH, photographer

    A short Memoir of the late eminent Shropshire Genealogist...

    Madeley (Shropshire), J. Randall, 1879. 

    First separate edition, photographically illustrated, of this short memoir of the Shropshire antiquary William Hardwicke. 


  9. DURHAM, Arthur E. 

    Transverse Section of Wood (Salisburia). 

    Circa 1870s. 

    A rare and attractive microphotograph of a transverse section of Ginkgo biloba wood, traditionally used in Chinese medicine and homeopathy. 


  10. [FARSARI, Adolfo, Studio of.]

    Japanese flower seller.

    [Yokohama?, c. 1887.]

    A striking image of a Japanese flower vendor, with delicate contemporary hand colouring, most notably to the flowers. After time spent in America, where he fought in the Civil War, Adolfo Farsari (1841 - 1898) moved to Japan in 1873, establishing himself in Yokohama. In 1885 he opened his own...


  11. STACEY, George et al.

    Daguerreotype and ambrotype portraits of Stacey and members of his family.

    London, 1850s.

    A handsome set of photographs of the English Quaker and abolitionist George Stacey (1787-1857), his second wife Mary née Barclay (1797-1876) and members of their extended family, taken by some of the finest portraitists in England at that time.


  12. MANTELL, A. M. (attr.).

    Views in North Wales.

    Circa 1880.

    A magnificent album of large-format views of North Wales and Chester, likely produced in celebration of the new harbour and hotel at Holyhead, which was opened by Edward, Prince of Wales in June 1880 – a group portrait of the event is depicted here.


  13. [LUYNES, Honoré Théodore Paul Joseph d’Albert, duc de.]  VIGNES, Louis, photographer; Charles NEGRES, printer

    Voyage d’exploration à la mer Morte, à Petra et sur la rive gauche du Jourdain par M. Le Duc de Luynes,...

    Printed 1874–76. 

    A fine set of the photogravures for which Nègre was justly celebrated, from the collection of Marie-Thérèse and André Jammes.  The titles and plate numbers are added in pencil, likely by the author or publisher (Arthus Bertrand, Paris, 1874-76).  The albumen prints, from the original negatives...


  14. PURSEY, Thomas.

    The last General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland.

    [Edinburgh, T. Pursey, 1900.]

    A photographic tour-de-force, assembling many hundreds of individual photographic portraits neatly incorporated into a painted scenario, and then reproduced as a photogravure, depicting all the attendees of the last General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland, held in May 1900. Evidently a...


  15. HARLINGUE, L. [Albert].

    'Baktiaris Persans'.

    [Iran, c. 1905-1911].

    An impressive press image of the Bakhtiari tribe – revolutionaries in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911 – here posing in strength with their weapons. Their leader, Sardar As’ad Bakhtiari (1856-1917), was a key figure in the Iranian revolution; under his command (and with German...


  16. LEIGHTON, J. Harold.

    Collection of exhibition prints,


    An impressive international exhibition portfolio - by renowned Pictorialist and an expert in this process.


  17. JOHNSTON, J. Dudley.



    An attractive Swiss winter scene by J. Dudley Johnston. Johnston (1868–1955) was President of the Royal Photographic Society from 1923-’5 and again from 1929-’31. He was a leading Pictorialist photographer, a member of the Linked Ring Brotherhood, and responsible for establishing the historic...


  18. RICCI, Giovanni and PORTA, Ercolano.

    Storia della missione francescana e del Vicariato Apostolico del Hunan meridionale dalle sue...

    Bologna, Stabilimenti tipografici riuniti, 1925.

    First and only edition of this history of the Franciscan Mission in South Hunan from its establishment to 1924, with particular attention to the persecution of the Christians during the Boxer Rebellion and the following years of restoration and progress of the mission. The appendix comprises letters,...


  19. PIECK, Henri C.

    10 Dagen Die De Wereld Deden Wankelen.

    Amsterdam, Skovino, 1927.

    A rare lithograph of Pieck’s dramatic illustration for Ten Days that Shook the World (October in English), a silent film commissioned by the Soviet government to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the October Revolution. Made by the director of Battleship Potemkin (1925), Sergei Eisenstein, the...