Edinburgh Calotype Club Album  -  Volume 1

Tennent's Album

A Missing Album

In 1952, Edinburgh City Library obtained an album of 126 photogrpahs taken by members of the Edinburgh Calotype Club in the 1840s.  This was acquired from the Montgomery family.

This was described as Volume 2.  An extensive search was made for Volume 1 of Montgomery's Album but it was never found.

In late 2001, another album of photographs of the Edinburgh Calotype Club was found.  Several of these photos matched photos in Montgomery's Volume 2.

It was thought, at first, that the newly discovered album was the missing Volume 1 from Montgommery - but examination of the notes and index accompanying this album led to the conclusion that the new album, described here as Volume 1 was the Tennent family.

A little information is known about the album not yet found - Volume 1 of the Montgomery Album.  It apparently includes images of Lima, Peru and Stirling Castle. [Comment from National Library of Scotland]

Hugh Lyon Tennent was a member of the Edinburgh Calotype Club.

206 Photographs

The auction catalogue gave details of the album, together with reproductions of several of its photos.  The auction catalogue described the album:

206 photographs of varying sizes up to 8in x 6 in, neatly stuck to one side only of 115 pages in all, each identified by a number and the initials of the photographer which correspond with the detail of the subjects in an accompanying contemporary booklet, written in clear copperplate hand and loosely held to the rear board of the album by a cotton ribbon

A substantial number of the prints date from a seven month period in 1848.  ...  The range of subjects and styles are vary varied and there are mixed standards of success both technically and artistically

In fact, about 60 of the photographs in the recently-discovered Edinburgh Calotype Album were identical to photos in the Edinburgh Calotype Album (volume) acquired by Edinburgh City Library about 50 years earlier.

The Photographers

The photographers included in Volume 1 of the Calotype Album are:

Dr John Adamson, St Andrews 1809 - 1870
Major Hugh Lyon Playfair, St Andrews 1786 - 1861
Sir James Dunlop 1830 - 1858
Rev. McPhail 1821 - 1908
Cosmo Innes 1798 - 1874
George Moir 1800 - 1870
James Francis Montgomery 1818 -1897
Robert Tennent 1813 - 1890
Hugh Lyon  Tennent 1817 -1874



DATES of BIRTHS + DEATHS (above):  National Library of Scotland 'Pencils of Light' web site.

NAMES of PHOTOGRAPHERS (above):  Dominic Winter Book Auctions Catalogue from the auction in which the Calotype Album was sold:  "Printed Books Sale, 12 December 2001"

NAMES of PHOTOGRAPHERS:  Eoin Shalloo  also provided the following helpful comments of the National Library of Scotland in August 2003:

" When we researching the members of the club we initially thought the 'McP' referred to in the manuscript indexes was Robert McPherson but we are pretty sure it is James Calder MacPhail.

Similarly with Mungo Ponton - the photos annotated with 'P' were probably taken by Hugh Lyon Playfair. As far as we know there is no evidence that Ponton and MacPherson were members of the Club."



Edinburgh Calotype Club Album  -  Volume 1

The Auction

The Edinburgh Calotype Club Album, Vol 1, was auctioned by Dominic Winter in December 2001.  It was acquired for 234,000, against strong competition from the USA,  by a consortium led by the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The NLS bid was funded largely by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, but with contributions also from NLS, City of Edinburgh Council, National Arts Collection Fund and the Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust.



Edinburgh Calotype Club

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Newhaven Fishwives  -  from Edinburgh Calotype Club Album  Portraits             Scott Monument  -  from Edinburgh Calotype Club Album  Views

Edinburgh Calotype Club:

Background        BJP Report         Albums

Tennent's Album:

Story           Portraits         Views

Montgomery Family's Album:

Story           Portraits         Views


Members        Montgomery       Brewster

National Library of Scotland:

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