The images in the above book, and larger images
displayed in the Begbie exhibition bring to life parts of Edinburgh in the
mid 19th century that appear to have been overlooked by other
photographers and artists.
Joseph Rock, who made all the Begbie prints held in the
Cavaye Collection reminds us that Begbie would never have seen prints of
this size made from his negatives. He would have made contact
prints, or in some cases may never have made any prints from his plates.
Joseph Rock tells me that:
- he held the entire Begbie
collection in his studio for four years before passing them on to the
Edinburgh City Art Centre. This allowed him to work through the
collection at leisure. He reports that these were some of the most
contrasty negatives he ever had to work from.
- it was originally intended that the
images in the book Thomas Begbie's Edinburgh - a
Mid-Victorian Portrait would be printed in duotone, but
this idea was later abandoned by the publishers as being too costly.
As a result Joseph Rock feels that the book did not really do justice to