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(John Rouse Merriott, 1847-1897, V.C., Colonel Royal Engineers, Hero of Rorke's Drift)]
Fine unsigned Woodburytype Portrait Photograph, by Lock and Whitfield,
showing him head and shoulders, in profile, looking to his right, in military uniform, in an oval, 4½" x 3¾", in mount 10½" x 8", no place, no date, circa
Lieutenant Chard was in command of the supply station at Rorke's Drift during its successful defence by some 150 British and colonial troops on 22nd-23rd January 1879, against 3,000 to 4,000 Zulu warriors. His V.C. was one of 11 awarded for this action.
The battle of Rorke's Drift was the inspiration for the blockbusting film 'Zulu' starring Michael Caine.
The term Woodburytype refers to both a photomechanical process and the print produced by this process. The process produces continuous tone images in slight relief. A chromated gelatin film is exposed under a photographic negative, which hardens in proportion to the amount of light. Then it is developed in hot water to remove all the unexposed gelatin and dried. This relief is pressed into a sheet of lead in a press with 5000 psi. This is an intaglio plate. It is used as a mold and is filled with pigmented gelatin. The gelatin layer is then pressed onto a paper support. It is thought to produce the finest photographic images.
The Woodburytype was developed by Walter B. Woodbury in 1864, first used in a publication in 1866 and widely used for fine book illustration from about 1870 to 1900.
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