PHOTOMONTAGE. [J. Farquhar?]

‘J. F.’, album, early to mid 1880s

An engaging Victorian photo-montage album in an amateur style - with quirky and imaginative creations, some very elaborate, such as a theatre scene, illustrated auction catalogue and sculptor’s studio.

Approximately 147 albumen print photograph cut-outs incorporated in 49 pen-and-ink photomontages, two heightened with white, and 1 pen-and-ink only illustration, on rectos only of 50 leaves of thick card; all edges gilt; bound in leather boards with initials ‘J.F.’ in gilt on upper board.

The skill of the compiler is displayed to effect in scenes that involve multiple figures arranged with careful attention to the way in which each person or face is angled perfectly to match their position, whether looking into a picture of sliding down a balustrade.

Two portraits are labelled as Farquahar family, the first, of Gilbert Farquhar, as a celebrity actor advertising a play alongside the famed Arthur Cecil and the second, Ernest Farquhar, as a portrait painting listed in an auction catalogue. The lettering on the upper board further strengthens the Farquhar link, though who ‘J.F.’ is remains unknown.

A full list of brief descriptions of each illustration, with number of cut-outs in montage indicated in brackets, is available on request.