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William Bradford, The Arctic Regions, 1873

William Bradford, The Arctic Regions, 1873 Photograph Photography Arctic %%alt5%%
A rare original 19th century Albumen photograph from William Bradford's The Arctic Region, published London 1873.

Title, 'No.102 The Steamer, in an open lead, moored to the edge of the ice field. The iceberg was about one third of a mile in length, and grounded in about five hundred feet of water, it's height above the water was two hundred and seventy-five feet.'

The Arctic Regions, published in London in 1873, was of folio size and was limited to an edition of three hundred copies, each containing one hundred and twenty-five original photographs hand-tipped into the text.

The American artist and explorer, William Bradford, having commissioned the Scottish steamer, Panther, set off from St.John's, Newfoundland, on the 3rd July 1869 bound for Greenland. The vessel was laden with 500 tons of coal for the journey. Captain John Bartlett commanded the ship with his two brothers acting as first officers, and a crew of Newfoundlanders. Bradford took with him the scientist-explorer, Dr Isaac I. Hayes, and photographers Dunmore and Critcherson from the firm of James Wallace Black, Boston.

Within a week they arrived at Cape Desolation on the southern coast of Greenland. On July 13th a large party went ashore, sketching, geologizing, botanizing, and shooting... The photographers, too, were not idle. Taking advantage of the comparative quiet which was enjoyed under the berg's lee, they managed to take excellent views in all directions."

Fifty miles north of Upernavik the group reached Latitude 73 degrees and made a last call at Tessiusak, the most northerly station in the region. The vessel then headed for Baffin's Islands, passing Cape Shackleton to starboard and moving on to Wilcox Point. Now well into Melville Bay they viewed the great promontory of Devil's Thumb. While attempting to reach Cape York the Panther got trapped in the ice for two days and finally turned back after finding no visible route through. The expedition returned to St.John's on October 3rd, after a trip of three months and five thousand miles.

J.L.Dunmore recorded some of his recollections of photographing the voyage in the Philadelphia Photographer, November 10th 1869. After some initial difficulties such as a broken box of chemicals and two hundred sheets of glass cracked, replacements were made, and he was able to take pictures straight off. Once aboard he and Critcherson got a carpenter to build them a darkroom, their method was collodion photography rather than daguerreotype, and consequently the albumenised glass would not keep for any length of time. Although Dunmore and Critcherson were the official photographers it is now believed that William Bradford may have taken many of the pictures himself which feature remarkable views of icebergs and ice-floes, including photographs of the indigenous " Esquimaux " people and ships.

Bradford's masterpiece oil painting, 'The Panther off the Coast of Greenland under the Midnight Sun', was presented to Queen Victoria during his visit to London between 1872-74.

£1500.00  UK
$1866.60  USA
1752.00  EU
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DimensionsAlbumen photograph 28 x 37cms, card 46.3 x 55.3cms Date 1873  Victorian Antiques Material Paper Origin American Condition Card has some acidification and foxing, Albumen is in good condition Item code as988a037 Status For Sale

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William Bradford, The Arctic Regions, 1873



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