Victorian Stereoscopy, Silvester Alfred (1831-1886), after painting by Joshua Hargrave Sams Mann (c.1831-1886), ‘Guardian Angels’Regular price Price on Request
© The Brian May Archive of Stereoscopy
Digital archival fine art print hand signed by Sir Brian May
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Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity
‘Guardian Angels’ presents a charming blend of art and Victorian stereoscopy, combining the talents of artist Silvester Alfred and the original painter Joshua Hargrave Sams Mann. The Victorian era was a time of exploration and fascination with both spirituality and technological advancements, and this artwork encapsulates both of these themes. The collaboration between Silvester Alfred and Joshua Hargrave Sams Mann speaks to the artistic exchange of ideas during the era. It's intriguing to consider how this collaborative effort might have contributed to the blending of artistic styles and the evolution of visual storytelling.
This artwork features a scene depicting guardian angels, spiritual beings believed to protect and guide individuals, reflecting the Victorian fascination with the supernatural, the spiritual, and the unseen forces that might influence daily life. Utilizing the technique of stereoscopy, artists sought to create a heightened sense of depth and dimension. When using a stereoscope, the viewer would become immersed within the scene, almost as if they were witnessing the guardian angels in a tangible form.
Some time in 1854, at 313 Oxford Street, the 'London Stereoscope Company' was born, and under the leadership of Managing Partner George Swan Nottage, by 1856 the company had changed its name, to 'The London Stereoscopic Company”' and finally in May 1859 assumed the name it was to retain for years to come: the 'London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company'.
Their business was selling stereo views and viewers to the public, and they were leaders in a boom – a craze - which swept England, Europe, and eventually the United States too, of stereo photographs of every conceivable subject, which, viewed by means of a stereoscope, presented scenes in life-like three dimensions. In a world which had never experienced Television, the Movies, or the Internet, this was understandably a revelation. In February 1856, the London Stereoscopic Company (LSC) advertised, in the Photographic Journal, 'The largest collection in Europe, upwards of 10,000' stereo views.
Much of the workings of the LSC in its early years is still shrouded in mystery, and the relationship it had with the pioneering photographers whose work it published remains unclear, but the company was evidently at a peak of production by the end of the 1850s; today’s collections of the finest cards from this period by James Elliott, Alfred Silvester, Mark Anthony, Charles Goodman, and many others always contain large numbers of examples bearing the familiar blindstamps of the LSC. In the 1860s, one of the LSC’s notable publications of stereo cards was a long series depicting the interior of the 1862 International Exhibition, in what is now Exhibition Road, South Kensington.
All Queen and Victorian fine art prints are selected and hand-signed by Sir Brian May, and are accompanied by a gallery certificate of authenticity, a Queen stereo card pack and a Lite Owl Viewer, designed by Brian May.
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