The old chapel of Exeter College, Oxford, c. 1857
A stereoview showing the doorway to the original chapel of Exeter College in Oxford, photographed sometime prior to 1856 and later printed as a card-mounted stereoview
Constructed in 1623-24, the building had become structurally unsound by the beginning of the nineteenth century. Although concerns were first voiced as early as 1813, it wasn’t until the 1850s, after much arguing, that work began on replacing the edifice. George Gilbert Scott’s Neo-Gothic design was approved in July 1853 and the foundation stone was laid on 29 November 1856. The completed chapel was consecrated on 18 October 1859 by the then Bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce.
Photographed by Philip Henry Delamotte, who was invited to Oxford by the publishers Spiers and Son to take a series of views eventually titled ‘Oxford in the Stereoscope.’ The price of the series of 25 views in a case was £2 2s or they were also available separately for 2s each.
On 17 January 1857 the Illustrated London News reported on the Fourth Exhibition of the Photographic Society. According to their reporter, ‘On one of the screens is a large frame containing some twenty or more stereoscopic views of the Colleges of Oxford, by Mr Delamotte, which are undoubtedly the prettiest things of the kind ever done.’ This quote was subsequently much used by Spiers in advertising for the series.
Condition: the prints are in excellent condition, with very good tonal range. The mount presents one small stain recto near the centre of its upper edge.
Dimensions: the mount measures 3.25” by 6.7” (8.2 cm by 17.1 cm).