A. Claudet Photo To Her Majesty, 107 Regent Street, London W., 1863. Item #99-7830
Portfolio: 18.5 x 16", tan patterned boards, gilt trimmed maroon leather spine and corners, gilt lettering, patterned maroon interior flaps. Photographs: all are 8 x 10" except for an oval portrait 9.75 x 8.75", mounts are 18 x 15", printed paper labels with mine's name at top, names of locations printed below except for the oval. Maps: "A Topographical Chart Of The Entrance Of The River Tagus..." 1851, 25.5 x 38" and "The Entrance To The River Tagus (Rio, Tejo) 1851, 23 x 36", both are from the Hydrographic Office Of The Admiralty. Each map has been cut into 4 segments and each map was then backed with brown linen. Condition: portfolio is worn, rubbed, sunned and has light waterstains, leather is scuffed/scraped, spine is torn and almost detached, lacks two of three ties and remaining tie is partial, flaps (3) are worn, sunned and have tears, one photo has a light scratch, photos and mounts have scattered light spotting, mounts have offsetting and edge abrasions, maps are folded into quarters and have light soiling and staining, chipping, creased corners. In 1859, a fifty year lease on the Santo Dimingos (Sao Domingos) copper mine was given to Sir Francis Tress Barry and James Mason of the mining firm of Mason & Barry, Ltd., London. Mason, as the mine director, had a house built for him at the camp which is seen in the photographs. The untitled oval portrait is likely James Mason. The other photographs show various views of the mine, the main street through the camp, the tramway (completed in 1862) which connected the mine to the Port of Pomaron and of course, views of the Port of Pomaron. Antoine Claudet was a well known daguerreotypist whose studio was located at 107 Regent Street in London. The studio of Antoine Claudet received a commission to take photographs of the mine (in this instance albumen prints). A photographer (name unknown) was sent to Portugal to capture these images which in turn would be used to publicize the mine at various industrial expositions ie. the photographs were displayed at the International Exhibition of Porto in 1865. Antoine Claudet died in December 1867 and a few months later his studio at 107 Regent Street was totally destroyed by fire. The fire is probably the reason why there is no information on who commissioned the photographs or the name of the photographer who took them.