Cambridge: Hills and Saunders, Ca. 1855. A striking albumen print of the Eastern Gateway of the palace, with a contemporary ink inscribed title 'Entrance to "Duke of Marlborough's" Residence' on the card below the image. The photographer's imprint, 'Hills and Saunders, Photographers to Her Majesty, King's Parade, Cambridge, and at Oxford, Eton, Harrow & London' is printed below the handwritten title.
The monumental eastern gate, a triumphal arch, leads to the kitchen court of the palace, and is designed with Tuscan pilasters resting on cannon balls. Grinling Gibbons, the famous wood carver, created the stone urns in 1708. There are 2 statues in niches also thought to be made in Grinling's studio. In 1773, lion heads, wreaths and laurels were added by the architect Sir William Chambers.
The ornate wrought iron gates were made in the late 1840s by Messrs. Bramah, the firm founded by the famous locksmith Joseph Bramah. They were exhibited at the Great Exhibition in 1851.
We are unable to confirm the date of the image, but we feel that it would be soon after the installation of the wrought iron gates in the early 1850s. Supporting this early date is the large top hat worn by the man visible in the photograph
At the top of the arch is a blank rectangular plaque. This image is prior to the inscription being engraved on the plaque, which was not completed until the end of the 19th century.
The albumen print 6 x 7 1/2", laid down on heavier stock, 10 1/4 x 15" Very good condition. Item #23444