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Albert and Victoria’s collection shows photographers’ working methods

Daguerreotypes and ambrotypes

In the late 1850s a list  was drawn up of the daguerreotypes  in the Royal Collection, identifying ninety-two items. According to the list, the main subjects were portraits of the royal family, members of the royal household and notable figures. The vast majority of the objects listed are historically missing: some would have been given away to friends and family; others may have been misplaced or damaged over the years. However, due to the royal couple’s systematic documentation of their collections via photography, various negatives of original daguerreotypes and ambrotypes have survived, some depicting items from the 1850s list. One of the two earliest photographic portraits of Prince Albert shown below is a notable example of a negative depicting a now lost daguerreotype.

After William Edward Kilburn (1818-91)

'Prince Albert (1819-1861)'

After William Edward Kilburn (1818-91)

'Prince Albert (1819-1861)'

After William Constable (1783-1861)

Two daguerreotypes of Prince Albert

After Thomas Pearce (active c. 1850s)

Group portrait at Balmoral

After Thomas Richard Williams (1825-71)

'Prince Edward of Leiningen (1833-1914)'

After Thomas Richard Williams (1825-71)

'Victoria, the Princess Royal, in her wedding dress'

After Thomas Richard Williams (1825-71)

'Princess Louise, Princess Alice, and Princess Helena'

After Antoine François Jean Claudet (1797-1867)

'Group portrait at Gloucester House'

After Antoine François Jean Claudet (1797-1867)

'Group portrait at Gloucester House'

After Antoine François Jean Claudet (1797-1867)

'Marie Walburg, Baroness de Speth (fl. 1857)'

After Thomas Richard Williams (1825-71)

'Princess Louise, later Duchess of Argyll (1848-1939)'

After Thomas Richard Williams (1825-71)

'Prince Arthur, later Duke of Connaught (1850-1942)'

After Thomas Richard Williams (1825-71)

'The Princess Royal's wedding veil'

Attributed to Dr Ernst Becker (1826-88)

'Stag's head'

Unknown Person

'Stag's head'

Attributed to Dr Ernst Becker (1826-88)

'Stag'