This is one of the unidentified images contained in the Hardy-Spooner family album I recently found at a local antique shop (see previous post). I didn't have much hope that I would be able to identify the woman in this 1860s-era carte de visite, but I try my best with each and every photograph I find, whether or not it's identified. In this case, my options were somewhat limited, but I decided to research the photographer. The back of the cabinet card has the following photographer's imprint:
|Photographer's Imprint, ca. 1865|
I found a wonderful Jersey family history site dedicated to providing information about the Hemery family and about Jersey Photographers. There I found examples of the imprints that Henry Mullins used throughout the years. According to the website, our imprint dates to somewhere between 1862 and 1865.
Now, it is a rare and very lucky occasion when a database or archive of a photographer's work can be found. I soon learned that our photographer, Mr. Henry Mullins, was the first established photographer on the island of Jersey. Furthermore, many of his contact sheets have been archived by The Société Jersiaise, and are available to browse online.
There were 9860 hits for "Henry Mullins" on the Société Jersiaise website, but I started browsing through the contact sheets one by one. And eventually I found it: the very same image, labelled "Mrs Huxley." So, we now have a surname.
What's next? Well, I don't have forename and I'm not entirely clear if the image was taken in Jersey, or if there is a possibility it was taken at the Regent Street, London studio. I would guess that it was taken in Jersey, but I think it best to confirm that with the archive before proceeding with a search.
I found two other images from Jersey in the album, but unfortunately, neither were from Mullins Studio. Both images were inscribed and identified, if I were able to read the handwriting. I plan to post these very soon to see if readers can help me with deciphering the handwriting.
While this search has only provided a surname now, that surname may be a helpful clue towards working out the relationships in the album in the future.