The title in period script is written on the recto of the mount. With blind stamp on recto of mount below title. The presentation, subject and style look a lot like R. P. Napper's early and rare work, and the negative is similar in size. Despite the title in French, the scene definitely looks Spanish.
Juan Rivero, Spanish collector and curator, told me: "As for the subject of the photograph, the clothing, coat, boots, everything seems to indicate that it's a photograph taken in Andalusia (where Napper. photographed). The size also matches."
Photo dealer and Spanish photography collector/expert Robert Hershkowitz said, "You may well be right about the attribution. A very nice picture, indeed."
Because of the rarity of Napper's work, we may never know if this one is definitively by him. Certainly more research is needed. In any case, this is an important photograph.
Englishman R. P. Napper was a member of the Amateur Photographic Association and exhibited in 1860 and 1864. Out of 647 institutions in the GEH database, Napper's work is listed at only two (NY Metropolitan Museum of Art and Univ. of Texas (Austin)'s Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center). When Lee Fontanella surveyed 44 key institutions in France, U.K. and the U.S., none reported work by Napper in their collections. Napper worked in Seville, Granada, Gibraltar and Wales. There may have only been two copies ever made of his work.
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Medium Albumen print
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1865c Print Date 1865c
Dimensions 7-1/2 x 9-7/16 in. (191 x 240 mm)
Photo Country Spain
Photographer Country United Kingdom (UK)
Contemporary Works / Vintage Works, Ltd.