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End of Decoy Pipe Davies, G. Christopher  (British, 1849-1922)

Davies, G C. Norfolk Broads and Rivers: Or, the Water-Ways, Lagoons, and Decoys of East Anglia. Edinburgh: W. Blackwood and Sons, 1883. The Preface states: ‘The illustrations to this book are printed on copperplate direct from negatives taken (with one exception) by the Author, and etched by a process worked by Messrs. T. & R. Annan.’ This may be the first book illustrated in photogravure by Annan, just returned from learning the process in Vienna. If so, it is the first book illustrated by that process in Britain. One of the forgotten photographers of the time is Christopher Davies whose work in East Anglia preceded that of P. H. Emerson in the early 1880’s: his pictures were photoengraved by the company of Thomas Annan and the generalizing and softening effect of the process, combined with Davies’ respectful and lyrical appreciation of the landscape and its people, anticipated Emerson’s style. The book was reissued in 1884 with woodcuts rather than photogravures indicating an effort to make the book more affordable and available to the masses. Interesting contrast to Emerson’s objectives with his books of the same subject. (Taylor p. 48)


Taylor John. The Old Order and the New : P.h. Emerson and Photography 1885-1895. Prestel 2006