announced the discovery of a previously unknown album of photographs by the foremost female pioneer of nineteenth century portrait photography, Julia Margaret Cameron. The album of 32 large scale portrait photographs - containing images of leading Victorian celebrities and two unrecorded photographs - represents a major addition to Camerons oeuvre. Estimated at £250,000-350,000, it will be offered at Sothebys auction of English Literature, History, Childrens Books and Illustrations in London on 10th December 2013. The sale will mark the first time in over thirty years that any album compiled by Julia Margaret Cameron containing her own photographs has appeared at auction.*
The Valentine Prinsep Album
Specially compiled by Julia Margaret Cameron for her godson and illustrious nephew the Pre-Raphaelite artist, Valentine Cameron Prinsep, on his 31st birthday in 1869, this highly-important album was completely unknown until it was discovered earlier this year.
It is one of only eleven known albums compiled by Cameron with her own photographs, and represents hours of meticulous work. The album contains carefully chosen portraits of her friends and family including leading figures in Victorian society such as Alfred Lord Tennyson, Sir John Herschel and her goddaughter Julia Jackson (the mother of Virginia Woolf). While several of the images are known in only a handful of other prints, two others are previously unrecorded and possibly unique. The two unseen pictures both depict Mary Hillier, the daughter of a local shoemaker and Camerons personal maid.
The first public exhibition of the album will be in Sothebys New York from 28th September through to the 2nd October, to coincide with Sothebys New York Photographs auction and the Metropolitan Museum of Arts new exhibition dedicated to Julia Margaret Cameron (19th August 2013 5th January 2014) . The album will also be exhibited in Sothebys Paris in mid-November. 2015 will mark the bicentenary of Camerons birth.
* The "Signor 1857" Album, compiled By Cameron, but containing images taken by various other photographers, sold for £121,250 at Sothebys London on 12 December 2012 (Est.100,000-150,000).