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Privy Purse bills and receipts 1858

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Interested in both art and technology, Prince Albert was an early adopter of photography. He also commissioned and purchased photographs by commercial photographers, thus conferring a degree of artistic respectability upon this new branch of cultural creativity. While much of the Prince's private correspondence no longer survives, Privy Purse papers frequently offer valuable evidence of this patronage.

These bills and receipts record, amongst other things, payments in 1858 to Oscar Rejlander, a Swedish immigrant and pioneering photographer considered by some to be the 'father of art photography'. The photographs purchased are most likely among those in an album of 'Calotypes' from 1857–8, compiled by Prince Albert, which is still in the Royal Collection.