John Pouncy

1818 - 1894



John Pouncy

Exhibitor in Edinburgh

Photographic Exhibitions

Roger Taylor's book 'Photographs Exhibited in Britain 1839-65' lists nine entries exhibited by John Pouncy.  Eight were sent to exhibitions in Edinburgh in 1858 and 1864.  There were also a few others sent to Edinburgh, listed below. 

One entry, specimens of printing in carbon, was sent to the 1862 International Exhibition in London.

As John Pouncy lived in Dorset in the south of England, but he seemed particularly keen to explain his experiments in carbon printing and to show the results of his work in Edinburgh. 

I don't know why he favoured Edinbrugh but on 13 January 1863, he exhibited some examples of his photolithography at a meeting of the Photographic Society of Scotland in Edinburgh.

He continued to correspond with the PSS.  Here are some extracts from  a letter that he sent to the society on 3 March 1863, a few years before the carbon process became more widely used:

Carbon Printing

"in conclusion, I need scarcely remind you of the supremacy of this description of practice as being the only photographs that will resist the fading influence of time."

"I will be glad if your Society will not give any report of my prints publicly just now.  Perhaps a few weeks hence, I will write you , and forward you more specimens shortly."

"I will not allow any specimens in London.  Therefore, whatever is being said about my process is without any proof whatsoever.


PSS Exhibition  -  1858

Entry No 578 in this in the PSS (Photographic Society of Scotland) 3rd Exhibition was titled 'Landscapes - Specimens of Carbon Printing' by John Pouncy.

PSS Exhibition  -  1863

John Pouncy sent six carbon prints to be exhibited in the PSS 7th Exhibition held in March 1863.  

He corresponded with the PSS on the subject of his carbon printing.  I have included some extracts from this correspondence in my report of the PSS 7th Exhibition.

For his carbon prints, John Pouncy was awarded a Silver Medal  for the best prints in carbon or printing ink.  These prints were made from negatives by Kinnear.

PSS Exhibition  -  1864

John Pouncy's entries in  the PSS  9th Exhibition  in December 1864 were all collodion negatives.  The exhibition catalogue gave the following descriptions:


Ruins  (Specimens of Pouncy's Carbon Printing)


Landscapes (Specimens of Pouncy's Carbon Printing)


Specimens of Pouncy's Carbon Print.


Specimens of Pouncy's Carbon Printing


Rievaulx Abbey - Specimens of Pouncy's Photo-lithographic Printing


Portrait of a Gentleman  -  Specimen of Pouncy's Carbon Printing for Transparencies


Rievaulx Abbey -  Specimen of Pouncy's Carbon Printing for Transparencies

The press commented:

"Pouncy exhibited 5 frames, each 24 ins x 30 ins, printed in printers' ink direct from the negatives by Pouncy's Patent Process."

Mr Pouncy's Visit to Edinburgh - 1864

One of the rare occasions when the EPS (Edinburgh Photographic Society) and PSS (The Photographic Society of Scotland) publicly acknowledged the existence of the other was at the EPS AGM in 1864.

The EPS Members received an invitation from PSS to attend a PSS Popular Meeting on 13 December 1864, to meet Mr Pouncy who would explain his carbon process.

EPS Exhibition  -  1876

John Pouncey also exhibited early carbon prints at the EPS (Edinburgh Photographic Society) Exhibition in 1876.



John Pouncy

Photographer from Dorchester

Thank you to Christine O'Connor for sending me the following comments on John Pouncy's photography in Dorset.

Christine is doing this research  as part of her Thesis for my Ph D, through Exeter University and is keen to discover more about John Pouncy and his correspondence.

Christine wrote:


"Aside from his innovative approach to the then new art of photography, John Pouncy was also ahead of his time in so far as he sought to make an accurate portrayal of his native Dorset.

My interest in Pouncy is  pertaining to his role in  recording places and people in Dorset, and  the continued use of some of his " prints" into the early 20th century by a descendant of his, Mr Harry Pouncy.

Harry Pouncy was keenly interested  in recording "old  Dorset" through pictures and descriptions, and  embarked on a series of lectures in Dorset, London and perhaps elsewhere in Britain.

The Hardy Players

In addition to his lectures and the use  of his own photographs, Harry Pouncy was a member of The Hardy Players, a group of  amateur actors who dramatized several of the novels of Thomas Hardy between 1908 and 1925. 

Several members of the Dramatic Society had the further interest of  making sure that the old agrarian ways, and the dying Dorset dialect were  recorded."


Thank you to Tim Edwards, the Lambert family historian, for sending further information about John Pouncey.

Tim  wrote:

Photos of the Lambert Family

"I believe that John Pouncey rented 44 High West St. from the Lambert family.  I wonder if he took any photos of the Lambert family, that might still be in existence.

I have found a old set of photos that came down with the Lambert family, but these are not clearly documented. One I think might be of John in his late years posing outside their shop in Dorchester, and can be roughly dated buy the gas lamp, muddy street, and the Pouncy sign above their shop. (around 1860/1870's).

Photos of the Dorset

John Pouncey took a series of photographs in and around Dorset in 1856.  They were then copper etched and printed and bound in a book called "Dorsetshire Photographically Illustrated" (Bland & Long Fleet, 1857). This book is very rare.

One of these prints is of the Lamberts' Manor farm.  John Pouncey lived next door to the Lamberts in Dorchester.

I have seen 5 copies of this print, some better than others, as you would expect as the copper etch wears away.   Some are even coloured - hand painted for the book.


If you have any further information about John Pouncey and his photography or about the Lambert family, please e-mail me and I will pass on your comments to Tim.

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs



John Pouncy

Further Research

Joanne Lukitsh, Professor of Art History, Department of Critical Studies, Massachusetts College of Art and Design wrote:

"I have been researching John Pouncy and would like to be in touch with people interested in him"

Joanne Lukitsh, Boston, Massachusetts:   June 9, 2008

Please click on the link below if you'd like to email Joanne:

Joanne Lukitsh


Links to other PSS exhibition pages