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Prince Albert collected photographs of places significant to him

George Washington Wilson (1823-93)

Mouth of the Clam Shell Cave, Staffa c. 1880 after an original of 1859

Carbon print | 7.2 x 7.2 cm (image) | RCIN 2320049

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Photograph of two men in a small rowing boat at the side of a geological formation made of basaltic columns on the Isle of Staffa, Scotland.

Wilson and his friend George Walker who accompanied him to Staffa, were rowed to the island by Sandy Macdonald where Wilson spent a day taking photographs. According to Walker, Wilson took 24 exposures of which 'twenty-three were perfect.' The Island of Staffa in the Inner Hebrides features many natural curiosities including Fingal's Cave that is formed of hexagonal basalt columns. As well as the main feature in the middle ground, this photograph includes detail in the right of the foreground and on the left of the background which added depth in this stereoscopic image. This photograph is a later carbon copy which is a process that is less susceptible to light damage, unlike the original albumen photograph which was prone to fading over time.
  • Creator(s)

    George Washington Wilson (1823-93) (photographer)

    Subject(s)
    Great Britain
  • 7.2 x 7.2 cm (image)

    17.2 x 13.0 cm (mount)

  • From an album of photographs collected and arranged by Albert, Prince Consort between 1860 and 1861

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    Subject(s)
    • Places
      • Europe
        • Great Britain
          • Scotland
            • Hebrides [Scotland]
              • Staffa [Scotland]
    • Natural Sciences & Mathematics
      • Earth sciences
        • Geology
          • Caves
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Engineering & Technology
        • Vessels (marine)
          • Boats
            • Rowing boats