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Albert and Victoria’s collection shows photographers’ working methods

Joseph Cundall (1819-95)

John Ryder (1814-85) as Polixenes May 1856

Wet collodion negative | 25.3 x 20.3 cm (whole object) | RCIN 2084936

10" x 8" glass plate negative showing actor John Ryder as Polixenes in The Winter's Tale. He is standing on a patterned carpet, facing front, wearing an embroidered tunic with material draped around his lower body and over one arm. He has a beard and wears a flower crown. The scene could represent the early scenes of the play set in Sicilia. Plain background with a door partially visible on one side.

Charles Kean's production of The Winter's Tale was performed at the Princess's Theatre in 1856. Queen Victoria went to see the production on four separate occasions. The glass plate negative has been photographed showing the coated side and therefore the image appears laterally reversed. It is possible that Ernst Becker, Prince Albert's Librarian, arranged the sitting with the photographer on behalf of the Prince or Queen Victoria. Prints from this negative do not seem to exist in the Collection.

  • Creator(s)

    Joseph Cundall (1819-95) (photographer)

    John Ryder (1814-85)
  • 25.3 x 20.3 cm (whole object)

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
          • negatives
            • glass plate negatives
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Industries, Crafts and Trades
        • Toys and Decorations
          • Theatrical costumes