39 Exceptional Photographic Portraits From the 1840’s

After the introduction of photography in the 1840s the early Victorians soon recognized the medium’s potential for portraiture. At first only the rich could afford high prices at fashionable city photographic studios. Alongside the professionals, gentleman amateurs worked to master photography’s complicated chemistry and optics. It was the children or other relatives of these first photographers who sat for their early experimental portraits. Below is a collection of 39 rare portrait photos of people taken in the 1840s.

Charlotte Lockhart, later Mrs Hope, grand-daughter of Sir Walter Scott, circa 1846
Couple in winter clothes, ca. 1840s

Daguerreotype portrait of an unidentified man holding a book with another man moving into frame behind him, ca. 1840s
Daguerreotype portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, 1842
Portrait of Edgar Allen Poe, taken several months before his death, 1849
Fisher Lassie and her child by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, 1843-1848
Fishwife from Newhaven by Hill and Adamson, 1843-1847
Girl wearing a white chemisette, holding long watch on chain, 1845
Handsome gentleman in the late 1840s
James Fillans with his two daughters by Hill and Adamson, 1845
Jane Webster (née Binny); Justine Gallie (née Monro); Mrs Marrable (née Binny) by Hill and Adamson, 1843-1848
Lady Eastlake by Hill and Adamson, 1843-1848
Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways (1773-1846), ca. early 1840s
Lady Georgina Elizabeth Wharncliffe (née Ryder), John Stuart-Wortley by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, 1846
Matilda Smith (née Rigby) by Hill and Adamson, 1843-1848
Miss Elizabeth (Betsy) Etty, daughter of John Etty, by Hill and Adamson, 1844
Miss Kemp by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, 1843-1848
Miss Munro by Hill and Adamson, 1843-1848
Mother and child in the late 1840s
Mrs. Jameson by Hill and Adamson, 1843-47
Mrs. Rishton (née McCandlish) by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, 1843-1848
Mrs. Shanker by Hill and Adamson, 1843-1847
Portrait of a beautiful bride, ca. 1840s
Portrait of a gentleman, 1845
Portrait of a lady, possibly a domestic servant, in a striped dress, late 1840s
Portrait of a lovely couple in the early 1840s
Portrait of a woman, 1844
Portrait of Elizabeth, Lady Eastlake (17 November 1809 – 2 October 1893) in the early 1840s
Portrait of Jane Sophia Barker (née Harden) by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, 1844
Portrait of Miss Dorothy Catherine Draper in 1840
Portrait of Mrs. Isabella Morrison Bell by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, 1843-1848
Portrait of old woman in 1848
Portrait of two young women by Carl Ferdinand Stelzner, 1849
Sophia Finlay by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, 1843-1848
Styling it up in 1842
Woman holding a Daguerreotype portrait, ca. late 1840s
Woman with two daughters, 1840s
Young lady in dress, 1840s
Young woman in ‘bead print’ dress, 1845

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