Thursday, August 15, 2013

The 1851 Crystal Palace

John Jabez Edwin Mayall, daguerreotypist (British, 1810 - 1901); The Crystal Palace at Hyde Park, London, 1851, Daguerreotype. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Here's another fabulous image from the Getty -- a Daguerreotype of the Crystal Palace at its original 1851 location in Hyde Park. Daguerreotypes possess an incredible level of detail, as their grain size is microscopic -- perhaps as small as a few molecules of silver halide -- but this can only be appreciated at the highest resolution. The Getty has made an 800 dpi version available, which is a start at least -- one can clearly see the equestrian statues of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and Osler's Crystal Fountain is there in all its glory. There are also two figures in the foreground, along with the ghostly image of a third, who lingered only for a moment before wandering out of the camera's frame and into oblivion.

1 comment:

  1. And yes, it's conceivable that the 'ghost' figure is the same as the person who stood still longer (on the left) -- though either way, as with all photos from this period, we know that the people depicted cannot possibly be alive.