Rare Queen Victoria photos stored for years in cupboard in Norfolk home to be sold at auction
PUBLISHED: 13:41 08 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:21 08 October 2020
A fascinating collection of photos providing an insight into Queen Victoria’s life which were stored for years in a Norfolk home are up for auction.
The archive includes 69 oval enamel miniature photographic portraits and numerous glass slides taken in the late 1800s by Scottish-born experimental photographer Alexander Henderson.
His great-great-grandson electrical engineer Roderick Williams, 64, from Coltishall, inherited the small images from his mother Primrose Williams, 89, after she died last year.
They were in a bedroom cupboard in his mother’s home, which he inherited and moved into after her death and were given to BBC daytime television auctioneer Charles Hanson last year to sell.
The images, which feature Queen Victoria, her husband Prince Albert and Scottish personal attendant John Brown, will be up for sale on October 13 by Hansons Auctioneers with a guide price of £15,000-£25,000.
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Mr Williams said: “We are short of space in the house. It is a small bungalow that my parents had and all these things are taking up space. My partner and I wanted to make it our own and need to clear things out.”
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He added: “The quality of the images is very high. My great-great grandfather worked as a royal photographer for Queen Victoria up to her death in 1901. We think he caught her attention thanks to his experimental colour work with glass plate lantern slides and enamels.
“She commissioned several coloured enamel pictures. These included royal portraits and views of the Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore. It’s thought some tiny miniatures were donated for display in Queen Mary’s dolls house at Windsor.
“As well as capturing everyday royal life, he was also responsible for processing royal portraits on to enamel for use in jewellery.
“He worked with glass plate negatives taken by other photographers but, sadly, much of his work has been lost or destroyed. That’s one of the reasons I have reluctantly decided to sell. Perhaps this archive deserves to be in a museum or royal collection to allow his work to be preserved and enjoyed by future generations.”
Mr Henderson was born in 1837 and died in 1907 and to find out more about the auction lot email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hansonslive.co.uk
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