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Prince Albert was an early adopter of portrait photography

William Edward Kilburn (1818-91)

Prince Albert (1819-1861) 1848

Hand-coloured daguerreotype | 6.3 x 8.7 cm (image) (image) | RCIN 2932486

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Hand-coloured daguerreotype of Prince Albert, seated and facing partly right. His left arm rests on the arm of the chair and his right rests on his lap. He is wearing a beige jacket and a dark brown waistcoat. The background is painted blue with white clouds and the daguerreotype is mounted under glass. On the reverse there is a label reading 'The Prince from Life 1848', handwritten by Queen Victoria. Prince Albert was an early enthusiast of photography and closely followed the development of the medium. In Febuary 1847 Kilburn showed examples of his coloured daguerreotypes, made by adding fine coloured powders to the photographic plate, to the Society of Arts. In 1848 Prince Albert commissioned a portrait using the new technique. This is one of two surviving hand-coloured daguerreotypes produced from the sitting.