Wednesday, February 26, 2014

John Gambril Nicholson. A Face Emerges

John Gambril Nicholson was a Uranian poet, a schoolmaster and a photographer. But, intriguing though his life and work is, not even his greatest fans would argue that he was a major literary figure. So when one comes across a photograph of a character like this, they can be quite scarce things. How disappointing then to see it so ravaged by time. 'Silvering' is a process that can happen to any silver-based photographic emulsion on paper over time: the silver leeches out of the emulsion and disfigures the image. So although clearly labelled and dated, the images is gone. Or is it...
The photograph below was one I have just taken of the back of the paper when it is held up to the light at an angle. It turns out that JGN, in 1894, wasn't an unhandsome twenty-eight year old!

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