1858 stereo pair of Jersey fisherwomen

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This image is almost 149 years old. We know this because, most unusually for pictures which have survived from the mid-19th century, this one has valuable information on the back, shown below. We should really say 'two pictures' because this is what was known as a stereo pair, designed to provide a three-dimensional effect when looked at through a special viewer. The inscription below tells us that the photographs were taken in Jersey's fish marked on 29 December 1858, by S Poulton. This was almost certainly Samuel Poulton, a professional portraitist popular with Victorian society in London. The National Portrait Gallery contains a collection of his work in the 1860s, including portraits of the future King Edward VII and author Charles Dickens. He was not previously recorded as having worked in Jersey, and whether he was in the island in a professional capacity in 1858 is uncertain. However, a few weeks after this picture was first added to Jerripedia another stereo pair by Samuel Poulton, of St Brelade's Church, dated from the 1860s, was offered for sale. This suggests that Poulton may have visited Jersey more than once, although as a publisher as well as photographer, it is possible that he offered for sale the work ofother early photographers in Jersey. Although stereo photography dates back to the 1840s, it was not popular with serious professional photographers until the mid 1850s, so this is a very early example. It is not the earliest surviving photograph of Jersey market women, however, because several exist taken by William Collie a decade earlier than this and form part of the Jerripedia collection
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