The Family and Friends of Vojta Náprstek a Rare Portrait Collection from the Funds of the Náprstek Museum

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Abstract

The article introduces a collection of thirty three images, predominantly daguerreotypes, deposited in the collection department of the Náprstek Museum. They were made during the period from the end of the 1840s to the 1860s, partly in Europe and partly in the United States of America, as the private collection of Vojta Náprstek and his family. The earliest one originates probably from 1848 and displays Vojta Náprstek wearing a redingote of the revolutionary Student Legion. With two exceptions, the portraits present the family and friends of the collection owner. What makes the collection very interesting and frequently used by experts and the media is the fact that it includes, among other things, two portraits of Božena Němcová.

The first part of the article deals with the history of the collection and the persons portrayed. The second, technical part presents the history of the origin and development of the photographic techniques employed and the identification and specification of the degradation effects.

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