Clementina’s images go under the hammer

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CUMBERNAULD’S unexpected connection with the work of a pioneering woman photographer is now in sharp focus – after her images were put up for sale in London last week.

Clementina Hawarden who was born in 1822 grew up in Cumbernauld House and was one of the most influential fine art photographers of the Victorian era.


Now 37 of her images are set to fetch £150,000 at auction house Bonham’s in March.

The images – which were a favourite of Lewis Carroll - are atmospheric portraits of family, chiefly of her four daughters.

Sadly Clementina died aged 43 and her death was traced to the use of the chemicals she had used to develop her distinctive photographs.

The bulk of her work is owned by the Victoria and Albert Museum but the prints that have gone on sale are not among the museum’s collection.

Francesca Spickernell of Bonham’s who is dealing with the sale firmly believes that rustic Cumbernauld had a big influence on Clementina’s work.

She said: “If you grow up in a pastoral setting and you are a creative personality, the natural surroundings are bound to influence your work.

‘‘I think it is spot on to say that the area around Cumbernauld House had a big influence on her photography,’’ said Francesca who is not allowed to say who is selling the photographs.

“What I will say though is that we are getting a lot of interest - and I think it’s because these photographs are so romantic and enigmatic,’’ she added.