Mobile photo studio and darkroom auctioned

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Fancy a photo studio on wheels? How about one with a bit of history? On Friday August 5, 2022, a historic mobile horse-drawn Victorian photo studio is auctioned at Charterhouse in Dorset, England.

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The horse-drawn studio will be auctioned on August 5 in England.

The story

This mobile Victorian photography studio was originally owned by the Pouncy family, known as painters and photographers in the southern English Channel town of Dorchester.

John and Walter Pouncy were a father-son photography duo, and the former had a reputation as a photography pioneer. Notably, John experimented with photolithography in an attempt to solve the early problem of fading. The resulting work Photographically Illustrated Dorsetwas considered a feat.

As for the photography studio, Charterhouse writes that the small, horse-drawn building was shared by the Pouncy’s with other professional photographers in the area. All would use the space to photograph visitors to the seaside of Swanage, a coastal town in south-east Dorset.

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Current state

Although it’s been updated and restored over the years, in its current state this Victorian mobile photo studio will need a bit of a facelift (although it’s technically functional). It retains the original plans with an interior comprising both a darkroom and a shooting area, complete with backdrop supports. The large windows and the skylight provide plenty of natural light. The structure sits on spring-loaded wheels and the new owner will need to retrieve it from the land where it stands in Wareham, a town also in the area.

“I had the privilege of seeing the studio in the summer of 2021 and meeting its current owner,” said Royal Photographic Society program director Michael Pritchard. amateur photographer. “It’s a remarkable survival. Walking in felt like stepping back 130 years. Although the current owner’s hope to restore it and keep it as a traveling workshop could not be realized, it has been lovingly maintained. It deserves a new home where it can be kept and shown, ideally in Dorset, and used as a studio, telling its remarkable story and that of the Pouncy business and 19th century photography.

Interested bidders should be ready by August 5. Charterhouse, The Long Street Salerooms, in Sherborne, Dorset will handle the sale. The studio is expected to sell for between £8,000 and £12,000 ($9,746 and $14,618).


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