||John Jabez Edwin Mayall operated a studio in Philadelphia in the 1840s, until he moved permanently to London in 1846. This portrait is probably from his last years in Philadelphia, around 1845 or 1846. It can be identified as a Mayall by the distinctive inlaid, octagonal table, which he employed as a studio prop in Philadelphia. Mayall used this table in a portrait of Albert Sands Southworth, the partner of Josiah Johnsohn Hawes, who together operated the famed Southworth and Hawes photography studio in Boston, MA. That image may be seen in Sotheby’s April 27, 1999 auction catalogue, The David Feigenbaum Collection of Southworth & Hawes and Other 19th-Century Photographs, sale 7295 (New York: Sotheby’s, 1999), p. 46. |
Mayall was a highly skilled photographer, with a good eye for light and composition; he exhibited at the London Fair in 1851. In London, he quickly became a popular photographer among the aristocracy and upper classes. An example is this portrait below of Lord Brougham (1778-1868), a British nobleman and politician who was an early and vigorous advocate for eradication of the slave trade and the abolition of slavery in the British empire. Notice the announcement at the bottom of the back of the card: “All Mr. Mayall’s productions are published by Marion & Co., 22 & 23 Soho Square, London W”; Mayall sold prints of such famous people to the public.
|J. J. E. Mayall, Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux, carte-de-visite, front and reverse (circa 1868), Gregory Fried collection|
Mayall’s success as a portraitist to the upper echelons of British society won him an invitation to take portraits of Queen Victoria and the royal family. He subsequently made a considerable fortune mass-marketing these portraits, such as this one of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Beatrice (1857-1944).
|J. J. E. Mayall, H.R.H. The Princess Beatrice,” carte-de-visite, front and reverse (circa 1862), Gregory Fried collection|