John Frederick William Herschel

PhotographerJulia Margaret Cameron




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Marginalia, Men of Mark, Old Age: Men, Portrait: Men, Supports


Image Dimensions: 35.5 x 27.1 cm (sight)
Support Dimensions: wood veneer overmat: 58.7 x 47.3 cm | mount: 56.8 x 45.4 cm | quarter-sawn oak frame: 73.0 x 61.2 cm (shown with framing glass removed)

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A Wedding gift to treasure: Julia Margaret Cameron's portrait of John Herschel

Sir John Frederick William Herschel, (1792-1871) was an English astronomer and polymath who made important discoveries relating to early photography.


This vintage print is twice signed by photographer Julia Margaret Cameron and is consistent with catalogue raisonné #675 in the monograph: Julia Margaret Cameron-The Complete Photographs, by Julian Cox and Colin Ford: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles: 2003.


provenance: purchased for the PhotoSeed Archive in 2004. Previous ownership history:


After 1867: Charles John Hegan, Esq., a London banker, (1845-1938) who graduated from Oxford University in 1868 was given the portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron: “given to Mr. Charles Hegan by Mrs. Cameron with her kindest regards”. An 1888 online reference in the publication The Money Market Review states Charles J. Hegan, Esq. was the Director of the English, Scottish, and Australian Chartered Bank. Earlier, Hegan had been elected a fellow of London’s Royal Geographical Society in 1873. It is possible he knew Hardcastle through scientific and perhaps family connections (they both attended Harrow but over 20 years apart). 


After 1899: Given to Joseph Alfred Hardcastle, 1868-1917, who was John Frederick William Herschel’s grandson, as a wedding present. The ceremony took place at All Saint’s Church, Ascot on 2 August.  Hardcastle…


was the eldest son of Maria Sophia, the third daughter of Sir John F.W. Herschel, who married Mr. Henry Hardcastle, son of Mr. Joseph Alfred Hardcastle, M.P., in 1865. Hardcastle received this photograph as a wedding gift from Charles John Hegan in 1899, when he married Theresa Selina Clive, youngest daughter of Sir Edward Clive Bayley, K.C.S.I., C.I.E., when he gave up business, and made astronomical lecturing and teaching his profession, the science always having had an attraction for him.


The photograph remained in the Hardcastle family until 2003, when it was auctioned in Ireland.


His full obituary appears in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 78, which can be seen here. (pp. 246-48)


Another biography of Hardcastle appears at the Armagh Observatory website, here.


John Frederick William Herschel