Is this the world’s first selfie?
Centuries before Kim Kardashian et al filled our newsfeeds with selfies, a pioneering Swiss artist took what is thought to be one of the worlds first self-portrait photographs.
Now the photograph by Oscar Gustac Rejlander (1813-1875) is expected to fetch £10,000 at and auction at Morphets in Harrogate today.
Director Elizabeth Pepper-Darling said: “Oscar Gustav Rejlander is known as the Father of Art Photography. He was born in Sweden and studied art in Rome, settling in England in the 1840s.
“He took an active interest in photography and in 1853 attended lessons in the London studio of Nicholas Henneman.
“This inspired him to develop his own techniques experimenting with portraiture although it is his pioneering work in photo-montage, combining several negatives to form one image that brought him to wider renown.”
Rejlander is best known for his work, The Two Ways of Life, which comprised 32 negatives and took six weeks to produce. Queen Victoria was a fan and she bought a copy for Prince Albert following an exhibition in Manchester in 1857.
The black Morocco leather and gilt album of 70 prints has a pre-sale estimate of £7,000 to £10,000 and will go under the hammer today.
Mrs Pepper-Darling said: “The album includes a self- portrait of Rejlander, illustrated here – could this be the world’s first selfie?”
The selfie trend has swept the globe, with millions of pictures uploaded a day. Over £8million was raised for Cancer Research after a #nomakeupselfie campaign,
However the craze is not without its critics; Tour de France cyclists said they were forced to dodge fans standing on the road to get the best selife when the Tour de France whizzed through Harrogate and The Queen has commented that is ‘strange’ to see so many well-wishers eager to get a souvenier photo.