Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Itinerant photographer J. Evans

I purchased this carte de visite on eBay a couple of years ago, not just because of the interesting subject of three men about to scythe some hay, but also because I thought it might have been an example of the work of Derbyshire studio photographer Joshua Evans of Bradwell.

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

I'd be interested to hear from any readers who can deduce any insights from this photograph. For example, are there any clues to where it was taken? Are the clothing styles typical of a particular part of the country or era? Perhaps the scythes are of a special design? The three men are all holding their scythes and the files used to sharpen them; their trousers are rolled up, and they are clearly ready for action, and it appears that the first sweep of hay has already been cut behind them. I'm afraid I'm not familiar enough with English farming practices or geography to infer a great deal more.

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

The design on the reverse of the card mount includes a paint palette and brushes, similar to a positively identified cdv by Joshua Evans (see previous blog post about William Bocking of Bradwell). However, there is no location shown, and the name of the photographer is merely given as "J. Evans" which is not conclusive evidence. The writing at the base provides the only clue that I can find suggesting this was not Joshua. It states, "Negatives not kept more than 7 days after delivery," which is a strong indication that J. Evans was a travelling photographer, as they did not have the space in their caravans to carry large collections of glass negative plates. The text can be compared with Joshua Evans's cdvs, which states, "Copies of this portrait can always be had." Although in the event, Joshua Evans did not last very long in the photographic business, he had clearly intended to stay put for a while.

2 comments:

  1. Brett...I think the answer may be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1YkjQyaaLQ

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Nigel - good one!

    ReplyDelete

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