Benjamin Brecknell Turner The Oak Tree in Winter, Hawkhurst, Kent, UK
Medium Salt print from paper negative
Mount on mount
Photo Date 1852c Print Date 1852c
Dimensions 11-1/2 x 15-3/8 in. (292 x 391 mm)
Photo Country United Kingdom (UK)
Photographer Country United Kingdom (UK)
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
With old St. Lawrence's cemetery is at the left. The identical tree appears in another Turner calotype in the V&A collection, taken at the same time, but from the opposite viewpoint. This view here shows the old Parish Workhouse of St. Lawrence Church in Hawkhurst, Kent, UK.
Benjamin Turner was one of the first, and remains one of the greatest, British amateur photographers. He began practicing photography in 1849 according to the technique patented in 1841 by the British inventor W. H. Fox Talbot (1800-1877). Turner's photographs were 'contact' printed from paper negatives (known as calotypes) of the same size as the print. He printed them on albumen and salt papers.
Between 1852 and 1854 Turner compiled 60 of his own photographs,in what is believed to be a unique album, 'Photographic Views from Nature'. It might have been a sample book, a convenient method for presenting photographs for personal pleasure, and for showing to colleagues or potential exhibitors. It remained in the Turner family until it was bought by the V&A Museum.
Many of Turner's photographs are of places with which he had some family connection. His younger brother William Frederick lived for a while with friends in Kent in order to learn about farming, which may explain Turner's visit to Hawkhurst and the surrounding area. Turner may also have been visiting the astronomer Sir John Herschel, who lived at Hawkhurst and contributed much to the early development of photography.
Turner's photographs are extremely rare on the market, and this one is one of the prime examples to be available for purchase.
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