Octave de Bermond de Vaulx (attributed to) Sebastopol, Crimea
Medium Salt print from paper negative
Photo Date 1855-56 Print Date 1855-56
Dimensions 7-7/8 x 10 in. (200 x 254 mm)
Photo Country Crimea
Photographer Country Unknown
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Octave de Bermond de Vaulx (Lodoix Thérèse Octave de Bermond de Vaulx) was an Officer of the French Légion d'Honneur. He was born on April 1, 1831 in Sisteron in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France. He died on July 11, 1895 at the age of 64. Stamped "ENVERS" in blue ink on verso. Envers means the "inverse" in French. Perhaps the photographer printed the images in reverse or from the wrong side, a very common thing with paper negatives. An extremely rare view of the Crimea.
There is a short biography in Primitives de la Photographie (BN) for photographer and calotypist Jean Antoine Bermond de Vaulx, who was Octave's father. Besides being a calotypist, Jean Antoine also apparently developed new agricultural approaches in Switzerland. It is unclear if the son learned the process from the father, or the father from the son, or each learned photography independently.
Octave joined the French Navy in 1847. He was made a navy ensign on March 25, 1854 in Toulon. He was apparently briefly in the Crimea during the Crimean War, stopping off in Italy. He photographed scenes during his early voyages as ensign using the calotype method.
He was later made a navy lieutenant (August 10, 1861) and then captain of a frigate in Toulon (September 9, 1872). He was married just two weeks later (Sept. 24) to Marie Augustine Barthelemy de Chadenedes. On June 9, 1877 he commanded the cruiser "Linois" on a number of missions. He was then made a ship-of-the-line captain beginning April 10, 1879. He was commander of the iron-clad ship La Reine Blanche (the White Queen) and the transport ship Le Tonkin during the French Indochina campaign. As of January 1, 1881, he was assigned to Port Lorient in Brittany.
He became a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1858, and then an Officer in 1878; he then added Du Brevet in 1879.
He was also made a viscount, a title of nobility just under Baron. He retired in 1885 and lived for a time in Paris, Beyrouth and Marseilles in the 1870-90s. Octave had one younger brother, Marius Amédé, who died in 1870 at the Battle of Gravelotte at the age of 32.