RARE COMPLETE SET OF 120 CARBON PRINTS (1875 - 1886)
DIXON, Henry and BOOL, A. & J. Photographers
Old London [with letterpress by Alfred Marks].
Published: Society for Photographing Relics of Old London,
Date: 1875 - 1886
Folio [470 x 360mm] 2 portfolios. 14pp descriptive letterpress printed rectos only, 120 carbon photographic prints mounted on blue card with printed titles, dates and publication details. Originally published in annual parts of 6 photographs [1875 – 1878], then 12 photographs [1879 – 1886]. Also included is an 11-page manuscript alphabetical index to the subjects of the photographs. Original sheep backed cloth portfolios, lacking most of the cloth ties and a little worn on the spines, letterpress leaves a little frayed. Old damp stains to the bottom right hand corner of most of the card mounts, well away from the photographic images but often affecting the printed titles. This has left a discolouration to that section of the mount, rarely more than a triangular section entering 80mm into the card, but in many cases it has led to a denaturing and subsequent weakness of the affected section.
It is possible that this copy belonged to Alfred Marks as the initials AM and a number appear on all except 15 of the 120 mounts. The numbers are not the same throughout, but are consecutive with each issued part and may relate to the subscriber number issued for each part. They are numbered as follows: 13 – 18 AM 9; 21, 22 & 24 AM 22; Part 5 [25 – 36] AM 1; Part 6 [37 – 48] AM 33; Part 7 [49 – 60] AM 44; Part 8 [61-72] AM 72; Part 9 [73 – 84] AM 9; Part 10 [97 – 108] AM 46; Part 11 [109 – 120] AM 25.
The Society for Photographing Relics of Old London originated in the wish of a few friends to have a record of the Oxford Arms in Warwick Lane, threatened in 1873 and demolished in 1878. Negatives were made by Alfred and John Bool of Albany Street and these were distributed among subscribers in 1875. Letters leading to the formation of the Society appeared in The Times in 1875. Initially they were issued without letterpress but in 1881 Alfred Marks wrote descriptive text for those issued up to that date and continued to produce text from then to the end of the series.
For details of all the buildings portrayed, plus an introductory essay see: Old London, Photographed by Henry Dixon and Alfred and John Bool for the Society for Photographing Relics of Old London, by Graham Bush. Academy Editions, 1975. A copy of which included with this item.
Due to the protracted publishing history, complete sets of this beautiful series of photographs of a vanished London are understandably scarce and it is poorly represented in institutional collections. Copac lists The British Library as the only U.K. location; it is held in whole or in part by a number of U.S. libraries.
Offered by Michael S Kemp Bookseller