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(Lichfield Cathedral)

(Album of original photographs of Lichfield Cathedral and of its Cathedral dignitaries).

(Album of original photographs of Lichfield Cathedral and of its Cathedral dignitaries).

(No dates, but album put together in late 1860s).

Reference: 15348
Price: £390 [convert currency]

Full Description

Oblong 8vo. Album, bound in full contemporary gilt panelled vellum, gilt spine. The volume contains 39 original photographs of Lichfield Cathedral, its interior, and its then recently erected screen, font, pulpit and sculptured monuments, together with 16 photographs of other buildings in Lichfield and its vicinity, including the house known as “Dr.Johnson’s Birthplace” and local parish churches. The volume also contains 9 photographs of Cathedral dignitaries, a photograph of a portrait of Dr Johnson, 14 amateur drawings of window tracery and of sculptural detail, and a few related nineteenth-century engravings. The largest of the photos measure 105 x 145mm, while the majority measure approx 80 x 60mm or a little smaller. The majority of the photographs of Donington church and of its surroundings, referred to above, measure approx 140 x 175mm, although some are smaller.

The present album, seemingly put together as a memorial to Rev.Henry Howard (1795-1868), Dean of Lichfield from 1833 to his death in 1868 (for Howard see ODNB), includes an extensive series of photographs of Lichfield Cathedral, principally focused on its interior and on the various mid nineteenth century internal fittings designed for the cathedral during Howard’s tenure of the Deanery. These include the cathedral’s very handsome ironwork choir screen, designed as a collaborative effort by the architect George Gilbert Scott, at that time in charge of the cathedral’s restoration, and the metalworker Francis Skidmore. The fact that the accompanying photographs of Cathedral dignitaries include a photograph of George Augustus Selwyn, installed as Bishop of Lichfield in January 1868 having previously been the first Bishop of New Zealand, indicates that the album was put together no earlier than 1868, although the differing dimensions of the photographs point to the fact that they were taken over a period of time and most were probably taken at an earlier date in the 1860s. We offer together with this album, from the same source, a small group of sketches for window tracery and church furnishings, together with the sculptor James Forsyth’s receipt for £50 towards the cost of the Lichfield Cathedral font, a contemporary drawing of “altar chairs executed by Forsyth for Donington Church” (in 1860), a list of the stained glass manufacturers and sculptors who had done work in Lichfield Cathedral and in related parish churches in the middle years of the nineteenth century, and other related items. These are preserved in a contemporary leather wallet. We also offer, again from the same source, a group of twenty original photographs, one dated 1865 on its back and all obviously of similar date, offering exterior views of the church at Donington, Shropshire, and images of its immediate surroundings. Henry Howard was Rector of Donington simultaneously with being Dean of Lichfield, and we conclude that most of the non-church images were taken in the garden of the Rectory or in nearby woodland. One of these images shows an elderly gentleman with a large garden rake, who we conclude from his dress to be the Dean himself. These photos came to us loose and we have inserted them in a modern folder from which they can readily be removed. For those unaware of West Midlands geography, Donington happens to be the Shropshire parish which is the home of RAF Cosford.