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A Benevolent Queen


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A Benevolent Queen

10 May 2021 11:13AM   Views : 555 Unique : 332

I have mentioned Queen Alexandra, Queen to King Edward VII, before in the context of her book for charity "Queen Alexandra's Christmas Gift Book - Photographs from my Camera". The book was published by the Daily Telegraph in 1908 and there are usually several copies available on eBay and probably from antiquarian booksellers everywhere. It's worth a delve into its pages to have a look at the fascinating detail of what a Queen just might be photographing. Photographing very competently too, it must be said. There's no mention of what equipment Alexandra used, but something high end from the best that was avialable pre-1908 wiould seem to be a given.
Here's Queen Alexandra, by Messrs W & D Downey of 61 Ebury Street, London SW, printed on coarse card using what looks like Photogravure.

Here's the book itself.


The book has two styles of images. There are coarse card pages with small Photogravure pictures stuck to the card, just like photos in an album. The facing page is tissue paper with the description printed on. This page shows, clockwise from top, Victoria and Colonel Brocklehurst riding at Bernsdorff; Professor Tuxen and family. His House at the Skaw; Landing at the Skaw.

The second style are conventional halftone images printed on white paper with desriptions printed underneath each shot.

From the domestic to the major public events, there is a lot of historic interest in these images. Clockwise from top left: Opening of the Alexandra Dock, Cardiff 1907; Naval Review off Portsmouth; "The Nimrod" (Captain Shakleton) going to the South Pole 1907; Commodore Sir B. Milne.

Fantastic stuff and I've only given us a taster here. There is just so much fascinating history out there and I'm constantly amazed to think how boring my school teachers managed to make it!

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