0091 John Brampton Philpot's Photographs of Fictile Ivory in the Hungarian National Museum
In the Archeological Archives of the Hungarian National Museum you can find a series of photographs depicting fictile ivory. Made up of 265 items, the series were produced by John Brampton Philpot, born in the UK and settled in Florence in the middle of the 19th century, then donated to the museum by Ferenc Pulszky in 1868. Turned to exile in 1849, Pulszky inherited his belated uncle's valuable ivory collection, which was exhibited in London in 1853. Since technologies which made it possible for sensitive artefacts to be reproduced without any damage done to the original had become available by that time, Pulszky gave authorization, upon request of his colleagues at South Kensington Museum, for the reproduction of his ivory collection. In 1863 Pulszky started to live in Florence, where he got into professional contact with Philpot and is likely to have been instrumental in the making of the above photo series of fictile ivory. Philpot published an individual catalogue of these series, which despite its misspellings and erroneous data has provided great assistance in identifying the photographs from Budapest. Philpot's series of photographs supplied a lot of important information for the European history of photographing and collecting art treasures in the 19th century, and also contributed to the art reproduction movement of the 1850-60s. New technologies (electrotyping, photography) came to play a dominant role in the institutional development of art history, archeology and historic conservation. The network established and widened between the European public and private collections, which enhanced the exchange and the sales of art reproductions, with the intention of serving both educative and scientific aims.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.