Photo Blog: Day 1128

#1128 – 25th April 1871

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Another one of my increasingly large collection of antique and vintage photos.

Following on from my S Oglesby shot a few weeks ago, I revisited Arundel Photographica the other week and a photo caught my eye. Oddly, however, it wasn’t this image, but another (which I will probably post at some point. However, the proprietor had a number of water-damaged photos which he kindly threw into the mix and this shot was one of them.

Robert Boning was a professional photographer in both London and St Leonards on Sea (Hastings) for more than two decades from the 1850s. In his time, he photographed the gentry (including a number of members of the Prussian royal family), actors and performers. When he moved to Sussex in 1863, he continued in business, and this was one of his images.

What I love about this shot, again, was what I found of the reverse of the image.

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The handwriting gave some further information about the gentleman. Born around 1813, Reverend Charles James Phipps Eyre MA served in a number of parishes, notably in Bury St Edmunds, Marylebone and St Leonards on Sea.

He seemed to have been held in some esteem – his portrait, painted when he was just 33, now forms part of the British Museum collection.

While I cannot quite make out the word above the date, the fact that the image even has a date is something else. We know exactly when – and where – this shot was taken; Tuesday 25th April 1871.

Rev. Eyre lived for another 28 years, dying in Hastings in the Autumn of 1899.

Not bad for a water-damaged photo!


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