VALENTINES OF DUNDEE [photographic establishment]. Norway [cover title]. [Dundee, Valentine, c. 1895].
Oblong 4to album of maroon crushed morocco with rounded and bevelled edges, lettered and ornamented in gilt, all edges gilt; 20 albumen photographs mounted on card; front hinge a little delicate, mounting cards with minor spotting, not affecting the photos.
The photos were taken in the Hardanger region and fjord, show Bergen from the mountains, a stave church nearby, views from Naerodal, Molde etc. 'Valentines of Dundee, the well-known photographic company which produced Scottish topographical views from the 1860s, and later became internationally famous as the producers of picture postcards was founded in 1851 by James Valentine (1815-1879). He added portrait photography to the activities of his established Dundee business, which had been based up to 1851 on the engraving, printing and supply of business stationery. In 1855 he erected one of the largest photographic glasshouses in Britain. About 1860 he decided to emulate the success of George Washington Wilson in Aberdeen in selling topographical view photographs. In 1866 James Valentine carried out his first Royal commission and received the Royal warrant in 1867. He used a converted barouche as a mobile darkroom. His exceptional organisational and presentational skills were essential in the rapidly expanding and thriving concern which opened a large printing works at 152 and 154 Perth Road, Dundee. William Dobson Valentine (1844-1907), son of James Valentine, took a course of chemistry at London University and trained to be a landscape specialist in the studios of Francis Frith at Reigate, the largest English publisher of the commercial landscape. He entered the family business in about 1860' (University of St Andrews, Archive, online).