Dating the photographs of Robert Mason of Norwich
Photographic and family historian Peter Klein has provided the evidence for these notes, which should assist with dating Robert Mason’s cartes de visite from addresses given on the mounts.
According to the photoLondon website, Mason established a City of London studio at 7 Amen Corner in 1858. He announced the opening of his Norwich studio in the Norfolk News of the 2nd January 1864, 'to be opened Wednesday next the 6th' at 20 St. Giles Street. He then continued to advertise regularly in both the Norfolk News and the Norfolk Chronicle. The sequence of his studio changes is reflected in the wording of his advertisements, and these can be compared with addresses listed on his carte mounts (although, of course, any given batch of mounts may have continued in use for a few weeks until stocks were exhausted and replaced).
The following sequence of addresses emerges from the newspaper advertisements:
20 St. Giles Street, Norwich, and 7 Amen Corner, London:
January 1864 until early May 1864
20 St. Giles Street, Norwich, 7 Amen Corner, London, and 9 Promenade Villas, Cheltenham:
14th May 1864 until early September 1864
20 St Giles Street, Norwich, 28 Old Bond Street, London, and 9 Promenade Villas, Cheltenham:
Early September 1864 until December 1864
20 St Giles Street, Norwich, and 28 Old Bond Street, London:
January 1865 until June/July 1868
In the summer of 1868 the studio was taken over by David Griffith(s), who advertised under his own name from July 1868, adding the phrase ‘late Mason & Co.’
Some of Mason's cartes bear only the Giles Street address, and their simplicity of design suggests that they belong to the earliest days of the Norwich studio.
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